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The Technical Services 



Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 50-60450 

First Printed 1951— CMH Pub 10-19 

. . . to Those Who Served 

Kent Roberts Greenfield, General Editor 

Advisory Committee 

William T. Hutchinson 
University of Chicago 

S. L. A. Marshall 
Detroit News 

E. Dwight Salmon 
Amherst College 

Col. Thomas D. Stamps 
United States Military Academy 

Charles S. Sydnor 
Duke University 

Charles H. Taylor 
Harvard University 

James P. 
President, Williams ( 

He my S. Commager 
Columbia University 

Douglas S. Freeman 
Richmond News Leader 

Pendleton Herring 
Social Science Research Council 

John D. Hicks 
University of California 

Office of the Chief of Military History 
Maj. Gen. Orlando Ward, Chief 

Chief Historian 

Chief, War Histories Division 

Chief, Editorial and Publication Division 

Chief Cartographer 

Chief, Photographic Section 

Kent Roberts Greenfield 
Col. Thomas J. Sands 
Col. B. A. Day 
Wsevolod Aglaimoff 
Capt. K. E. Hunter 



MAJ. GEN. CHARLES P. GROSS, Chief of Transportation for the Army 

during World War II. 


The matter of transportation at home and abroad becomes one of first 
importance when war strikes. The strain on the transportation systems and the 
conflict of civilian and military demands become immediate and serious problems. 
In two world wars the United States has had to solve many of these problems 
after hostilities began, and therefore to solve them in haste, by trial and error. 

As new and improved means of transport are introduced, the questions of 
military transportation become more difficult. The horse and mule had their 
shortcomings, but their use involved few of the complications that bedevil the 
military in this machine age. The armed forces must have not only adequate 
equipment but also replacement parts to keep that equipment operating in the 
field. Efficient use of transportation necessitates co-ordination within the armed 
forces and between military and civilian agencies. During World War II much 
was done to increase effective use of ships, railway cars, and motor vehicles, but 
efforts to balance the competitive demands of civilian and military traffic in 
the zone of interior were only partially successful. 

Careful planning is necessary to reduce difficulties such as those which beset 
us in 1917 and 1941. The present volume, first of this series to deal with the 
Army's technical services, begins an account of the transportation problems of 
the Army and their solution in World War II, including those of inter-Allied 
co-ordination. Between the covers of this book is to be found information that 
will contribute substantially to our planning and preparation for transportation 
emergencies in the future. 

Washington, D. C. 
1 August 1951 

Maj. Gen., U. S. A. 
Chief of Military History 



This volume is the first of three concerning the Army Transportation Corps 
in World War II. It delineates the nature of the transportation task, the functions 
and organization of the Transportation Corps, and its operating problems and 
relationships in the zone of interior. A second volume will deal with the execution 
of troop and supply movements in the zone of interior and to the oversea com- 
mands, the organization and training of Transportation Corps troops, and the 
development, procurement, and distribution of Transportation Corps materiel. 
A third volume will describe Transportation Corps organization and activities 
in oversea theaters and bases. 

The reader quickly will discern that the discussion is not confined strictly to 
the Transportation Corps. There are several reasons. A Chief of Transportation 
was not designated by the Army until three months after the United States 
entered the war, and many important developments took place during 1940 
and 1941 when Army transportation was a responsibility of The Quartermaster 
General, acting under the supervision of the Supply Division (G— 4) of the 
War Department General Staff. Transportation was so vital an element in the 
military program that throughout the war higher echelons of the Army took an 
active interest in and exercised a measure of supervision over the development 
and activities of the transportation organization. Policies and decisions affecting 
transportation were in fact Army policies and decisions, whether they were enun- 
ciated by the Chief of Transportation, the Commanding General of the Army 
Service Forces, the Chief of Staff, the Under Secretary of War, or the Secretary. 

Another reason for the breadth of the discussion is the extent of collaboration 
that was necessary between the Transportation Corps and other governmental 
agencies. The Interstate Commerce Commission, the Office of Defense Trans- 
portation, the Maritime Commission, the War Shipping Administration, and the 
War Production Board were civilian agencies which exercised a broad control 
over the services and facilities used by the Army for the movement of its troops 
and materiel. The Naval Transportation Service operated some of the vessels 
utilized by the Transportation Corps, and the two organizations participated in 
numerous other joint logistic arrangements. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff dealt with many matters which directly affected the 
activities of the Transportation Corps. A close liaison was necessary with the 
British Ministry of War Transport, whose vessels were used extensively by the 
United States Army. The activities of these agencies and the Army's relations 
with them are important parts of the Transportation Corps' history. 

The working relationships of the Transportation Corps with other govern- 
mental agencies, although they proceeded with a high degree of co-operation, 
involved matters concerning which there were divergent interests and differing 
opinions. Some differences pertained to policy and others to method ; some were 
very important and others less so; some were satisfactorily adjusted during the 


war and others were not. Though an attempt has been made not to give undue 
prominence to these differences, their historical importance is obvious. Sometimes 
they explain why things were done in a certain way, or were not done. Often they 
point to potential disputes, even weaknesses, which should be taken into account 
in planning for possible future emergencies. 

Although this discussion covers a broad field in presenting the significant 
developments which affected the movement of troops and military supplies, it 
is in no sense a full history of the nation's wartime transportation effort. The 
primary purpose is to present the experience of the Transportation Corps as 
reflected in Army records, which in itself is a broad assignment. In such a study 
it is inevitable that the views of the Chief of Transportation and his associates 
should be more fully stated than those of other officers and agencies. Where 
controversial matters are involved, however, the basic issues should appear with 
fairness to all parties. 

While the general plan has been to present only facts and opinions found 
in the records, there has been some digression from that procedure. The recollec- 
tions of Transportation Corps officers and of civilians who held responsible 
positions under the Chief of Transportation have been used to supply details not 
found in the records and to clarify obscure passages. Reports of the interviews 
with those consulted are on file. The author's experience as a member of the 
executive staff of the Chief of Transportation throughout the war has helped 
him greatly in understanding and evaluating developments, but recollections of 
events and attitudes have not been allowed to take the place of documentary 
evidence. Personal observations are confined almost entirely to the comments 
on policies and methods of the Chief of Transportation and his relationships with 
Army Service Forces headquarters that appear in Chapter III and to the general 
conclusions presented in the final chapter. 

Many of the statistical data which have been used, while from responsible 
sources, were compiled during or shortly after the war and so may differ some- 
what from figures which more deliberate research may make available. It is 
believed that these variations are inconsequential. Readers interested in data 
which have a greater degree of finality will be able to find them in the statistical 
volumes that are being prepared for publication as part of the series, UNITED 

It is impossible to acknowledge in detail all the generous assistance which 
the author has received, during the preparation of this volume, from military and 
civilian colleagues and from the staff of his own office. Aside from acknowledg- 
ments made in the footnotes, special thanks are due to the following: Dr. Harold 
Larson, who prepared a number of monographs on Army transportation by 
water, and who at present is working on the third volume of the Transportation 
Corps trilogy; Dr. Harold H. Dunham, Dr. James R. Masterson, and Mr. Joseph 
Bykofsky, who have written monographs on Army transportation in certain over- 
sea theaters; and Capt. William H. Schmidt, whose wartime monographs deal with 
various aspects of Army transportation in the United States. Final editing of the 
volume was in charge of Mr. W. Brooks Phillips, who was assisted by Miss Michael 


4 Burdett and Mrs. Pauline Dodd; Mr. George Powell was most helpful in the 
checking of charts and statistical data; and Mr. David Jaffe prepared the index. 
Miss Marie Premauer, Mrs. Lois Riley, and Mr. John Lee performed many serv- 
ices indispensable to preparation of the manuscript and production of the book. 

Since the account in this volume is necessarily compact, rather extensive foot- 
notes have been provided. In connection with the effort which is being made 
under the Secretary of Defense to develop greater integration in the transportation 
services of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, many aspects of transportation 
are currently undergoing careful study. Should the nation become involved in 
another major war, the records pertaining to transportation in World War II 
will take on added significance. The author believes that the documents cited in 
this volume, and the files in which they are located, will be of considerable assist- 
ance to future students of military transportation. 

Numerous technical terms have been used in the text and the footnotes. Rather 
free use has been made of abbreviations, especially to avoid too frequent repeti- 
tion of the long titles of wartime agencies and officials. The identification of the 
numerous files and records in which cited documents are located also has involved 
the use of terms and abbreviations which are not generally familiar. The reader 
will be aided in these respects by reference to the Glossary of Technical Terms, 
the List of Abbreviations, the Bibliographical Note, and the Guide to Footnotes, 
which are appended. 

Washington, D. C. CHESTER WARDLOW 

1 February 1951 



Chapter Page 



Transportation as a Factor in Strategy 2 

Magnitude of the Army's Transportation Task 10 

The Role of Long-Range Planning 18 

Relative Advantages of the Contending Powers 23 


Army Transportation in World War 1 28 

Developments Preceding Pearl Harbor 35 

The Early Months of the War 42 

Transportation Service Established 50 

Transportation Corps Created 54 


Initial Responsibilities 57 

Delegation of Authority to the Army Air Forces 59 

Additional Responsibilities 62 

The Headquarters Organization 68 

The Chief of Transportation and His Policies 73 

Relations with Other Elements of the Army Service Forces 78 

Relations with the Oversea Commands 82 


Ports of Embarkation 95 

Transportation Zones Ill 

Other Field Agencies 123 

Supervision by Headquarters 126 

Demobilization Planning and Adjustments 132 


Early Military Requirements 136 

Preparations for Amphibious Operations 144 

The Submarine Threat 148 

The Shipbuilding Achievement 153 

Central Control of Ship Employment 163 

Co-ordination of Port Utilization 176 

Co-ordination of Ship Repair and Conversion 181 



Relations with the War Shipping Administration 186 

Relations with the Navy 200 

Naval Convoy and Routing Arrangements 212 

Relations with the British Ministry of War Transport 220 


Chapter Page 



Civilian Crews on Ocean-Going Vessels 229 

Maintenance and Voyage Repairs 239 

Supplies for Vessels 241 

Food Service on Transports and Hospital Skips 243 

Armament and Gun Crews 245 

Radio Service and Radar 247 

Assignment and Operation of Small Boats 249 

Manning of Small Boats 255 

Proposals Regarding Marine Personnel 260 


Pier Operation and Stevedoring 262 

Efficient Utilization of Vessels 271 

Control of Ship Utilization in the Theaters 282 

Ship Conversions 299 



Distribution and Control of Inland Traffic 308 

Basic Relations with the Railroads 312 

Wartime Expansion of Railroad Traffic 319 

Limited Capacity of the Western Railroads 323 

Procurement of New Railroad Equipment 328 

Railroad Manpower 335 

Efficient U tilization of Railroad Equipment 341 

Temporary Government Control of the Railroads 349 

The Highway Carriers 353 

Inland Waterways and Airways 367 

Relations with Federal Regulating Agencies 370 


Utility Railroads 375 

Army Tank Cars 381 

Army Hospital Cars 385 

Railroad Repair Shops 391 

Motor Buses for Local Transportation 394 

Administrative Vehicles 402 




DIVISIONS, OCT, 1 JULY 1945 415 




Appendix Page 









INDEX 441 



1. Distribution of Personnel of the Office of the Chief of Transporta- 

tation: Designated Dates in 1945 74 

2. Personnel Employed at Port Installations: 31 December 1944. ... 110 

3. Distribution of Personnel Among Transportation Zones: 

31 March 1945 122 

4. Employment of Ocean-Going Passenger and Dry-Cargo Shipping 

Under U.S. Control on Selected Dates: 1943-1945 175 

5. Average Tons of General Cargo Loaded per Net Gang-Hour at 

U.S. Ports on Vessels Loaded for the Army by Contracting 
Stevedores: July 1943-March 1945 '. . .' 265 

6. Average Cost per Ton of Loading Army Cargo by Contracting 

Stevedores at Principal U.S. Ports: 1944 267 

7. Analysis of Cost of Loading Army Cargo by Contracting Steve- 

dores at U.S. Ports: 1944 '. 269 

8. Time Spent at U.S. Loading Ports by Dry-Cargo Vessels Loaded 

at Army Ports of Embarkation and Sailed During the Period 
February— December 1944 282 

9. Percent Distribution of Intercity Passenger and Freight Traffic in 

the United States, by Type of Carrier: 1940-1945 309 

10. Indexes of Passenger and Freight Traffic in the United States: 

1940-1945 310 

1 1 . Equipment Requirements of the American Railroads (All Classes ) 

as Stated by the Office of Defense Transportation, and Actual 
Production: 1942-1944 332 

12. Production of Nonmilitary Trucks, Trailers, and Buses in the 

United States: 1936-1944 362 



No. page 

1. Organization of the Office of the Chief of Transportation: 

30 June 1942 52 

2. Organization of the Office of the Chief of Transportation: 

1 July 1945 69 

3. Typical Organization for Ports of Embarkation, Approved by the 

Chief of Transportation: 1 July 1945 102 

4. Typical Organization for Zone Transportation Offices, Approved 

by the Chief of Transportation : November 1 943 121 

5. Utilization of Deadweight and Bale Cubic Capacities of Ships 

Loaded by the Army at U.S. Ports: December 1941— August 

1945 277 

6. U.S. Dry-Cargo Ships Employed in Transoceanic Service for the 

Army Held in Oversea Ports More than Ten Days: February 
1943-July 1944 . .' 286 

7. Status of Dry-Cargo Vessels Loaded by the U.S. Army at U.S. 

Ports for Discharge in Northern Continental Europe: 1 Sep- 
tember 1944-31 March 1945 290 


Maj. Gen. Charles P. Gross, Chief of Transportation ii 

Amphibious Operations — Normandy and Leyte 13 

Oversea Ports — Khorramshahr and Naha 21 

Battered Railroad Yards in France and Italy 24 

Peacetime Ports of Embarkation 36 

Troop Entrainment — December 1941 43 

Military Railway Service Equipment 89 

Hard Going on Oversea Highways 92 

Wartime Army Ports of Embarkation — Oakland and Newport News 98 

Reactivated Army Bases — Boston and New Orleans 108 

Transportation Corps Field Installations 118 

Prewar Army Transports 137 

Convoy Forming off a U.S. Atlantic Port 150 

War-Built Cargo Ships 157 

Troopships in the U.S. Pool 166 

Troopships Operated by the Navy 202 

Largest Troopships Afloat 223 

Instruction in Navigation and Marine Engines 234 

Boats Built for Theater Service • 252 



Tight Stowage of Packaged Freight 275 

Crated and Uncrated Equipment Stowed on Deck 278 

Army Hospital Ships 302 

Flatcars Moving Bulky Equipment 322 

The Bracing and Lashing of Large Equipment 346 

Motor Transport for Short Hauls 360 

Locomotives for Utility Railroads 377 

Army Hospital Car 388 

Army Buses for Local Transportation 399 

Most of the illustrations in this volume were supplied by the Department of 
Defense. Of these, all are U.S. Army photographs except the following. 
U.S. Navy: pp. 89 (bottom), 150, 166, 202, 302 (bottom) 
U.S. Air Force: pp. 98 (top), 118 (bottom), 137 (bottom), 275 (bottom). 

Photographs from other sources : 
U.S. Maritime Commission: p. 157. 
U.S. Maritime Service: p. 234. 
Higgins, Inc., New Orleans, La. : p. 252 (bottom) . 
Association of American Railroads: p. 346 (top) . 
Stage and Howe, Los Angeles, Calif. : p. 360 (top) . 
General Electric Company : p. 377 (bottom). 




Transportation Implications 
of Global Warfare 

The ability of the United States to turn 
the course of World War II toward victory 
for the Allies was dependent on the ade- 
quacy of the transportation facilities made 
available to our armed forces and the effi- 
ciency with which those facilities were used. 
Manifestly, success was dependent also on 
the training and skillful employment of 
military personnel and on the quantity and 
quality of the war materiel produced for 
the use of our own forces and those of our 
allies. Yet our forces could not accomplish 
their mission until they had been trans- 
ported to the combat areas overseas, and 
among the several elements which entered 
into the formula for victory it fairly may be 
said that transportation, especially shipping, 
was the most critical. 

Shipping was a constant source of con- 
cern to those planning military operations. 
There never was serious, doubt that, given 
the time necessary for recruitment and 
training, the United States could develop a 
fighting force capable of coping with the 
forces of the enemy. Nor was there any 
doubt that, allowed a sufficient period for 
conversion from a peacetime to a wartime 
basis, American industry could outproduce 
that of the hostile powers. But for more than 
a year after our entry into the war there 
was grave doubt as to our ability to con- 
struct troop and cargo vessels rapidly 
enough to offset the losses inflicted by sub- 

marines and build up a shipping capacity 
adequate for the defeat of Germany and 

In June 1942 Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somer- 
vell, commanding the Army's Services of 
Supply, said, "The losses by submarine 
sinkings threaten failure of our war 
effort." 1 In the spring of the following year 
he reported, "Our plans to carry out a 
determined and effective offensive during 

1 943 and to strike further decisive blows in 

1944 are measured almost entirely by the 
shipping which can be made available for 
military operations." 2 Later in 1943 the 
Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization 
announced, "We can never have more ships 
than are needed for all-out offensive war- 
fare/' and warned against allowing our 
increasing output of merchant vessels to lull 
us into an attitude of complacency. 3 In 
October 1944 General Somervell stated to 
Gen. George C. Marshall, the Army Chief 
of Staff: "Operations in both the Atlantic 
and the Pacific are accepting monthly defi- 
cits in their shipping schedules. Yet, new 

1 Memo for CofS USA, 18 Jun 42, OCT 569. 14 

2 Memo for CofS USA, 25 Mar 43, sub: Proposed 
Allocation of U.S. Shipping, ASF Hq CofS file 

3 Report from the Subcommittee on War Mobi- 
lization to the Committee on Military Affairs, U. S. 
Senate, October 7, 1943, pp. 3, 5. 



demands on shipping develop almost 
daily." 4 

In fact, as subsequent discussion will 
show, even up to the time of Germany's 
collapse ocean transport was a limiting fac- 
tor in our oversea military effort. Although 
at times the troops or the cargo ready at 
the ports failed to fill completely the avail- 
able ship space, such situations were local 
and temporary, and in the strategic 
planning ship capacity usually was short of 
what was desired. 

While shipping presented the most acute 
problem, inland transportation also was 
under constant strain, which increased as 
hostilities continued. During World War I 
failure to control rail traffic and to utilize 
rail equipment efficiently resulted in serious 
congestion, particularly along the Atlantic 
seaboard, thereby causing delay and con- 
fusion in the movement of supplies to 
Europe. 5 A similar and probably worse 
situation would have arisen during World 
War II had not effective measures been 
taken to prevent it. As a result of these 
measures, despite the unprecedented vol- 
ume of traffic and the severe limitation 
on the production of new transportation 
equipment, the railway, highway, and in- 
land waterway carriers were able to meet 
the military requirements as they arose. 
This might not have been so had Japan 
attacked or seriously threatened our west 
coast during the early days of the war, for 
at that time the carriers west of the Missis- 
sippi had little reserve capacity. But the fact 
that the Japanese were preoccupied with 

4 Memo, 24 Oct 44, sub: Increased Requests for 
Shipping, ASF Hq Shipping 1944. 

5 Report of the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army 
to the Secretary of War, 1919 (Washington), pp. 
112-14; Benedict dwell and Robert F. Wilson, 
The Road to France (New Haven, 1921), pp. 112- 

the extension of their holdings in Asia and 
the western Pacific, added to the strategic 
decision of the Allies to consider the defeat 
of the European Axis their first objective, 
made it possible for domestic transportation 
to remain fluid and effective after the shock 
of our sudden entry into the war had passed. 

"In global warfare considerations of 
strategy and transportation are insepa- 
rable," said Maj. Gen. Charles P. Gross, 
Chief of Transportation, U.S. Army, dur- 
ing the period of hostilities, in his final 
report.' 5 Brief examination of this relation- 
ship, as exemplified in World War II, is 
essential background for a discussion of the 
responsibilities and accomplishments of the 
Transportation Corps. Since under the pre- 
vailing circumstances the availability of 
adequate transportation was a basic factor 
in the formulation of most of the important 
strategic plans and decisions that were made 
during the course of the war, the following 
review can touch upon only certain major 
aspects of the subject. 

Transportation as a Factor in Strategy 

Transportation has been a factor in 
strategy since that period of history when 
fighting men carried their equipment on 
their backs and lived off the countries in 
which they were engaged. The importance 
of this factor has risen as the scope of 
hostilities has been widened and the burden 
of military impedimenta has been increased. 
In both respects World War II was in a 
class by itself. It was the first truly global 
war, during which American troops were 
deployed virtually throughout the world. 
The increased mechanization of the forces, 

6 Report of the Chief of Transportation, Army 
Service Forces, World War IT, 30 November 1945, 
p. 2. The report, issued when Gross retired from 
the Army, is cited hereafter as Gross final rpt. 



the greater weight of weapons and ammu- 
nition, and the fact that little or no 
materiel was available in many areas where 
our troops fought, meant that for the sup- 
port of each soldier sent into a theater of 
operations far more equipment and supplies 
had to be shipped from the zone of interior 
than in any previous war. 7 

Following the Japanese attack on our 
Pacific outposts and our precipitation into a 
two-ocean conflict, military demands on the 
United States far exceeded resources. On 
the Atlantic side there was the necessity of 
supplying Britain and the Soviet Union 
with war materiel to enable them to con- 
tinue their resistance against the German 
forces, together with the desirability of 
opening an active second front as soon as 
possible in order to relieve the pressure on 
our European allies. On the Pacific side 
there was the need of checking the extension 
of Japanese aggression with as little delay 
as possible and of preventing the consolida- 
tion of gains already made. These jobs 
could not be tackled equally without danger 
of failure in both. The preponderance of 
our limited strength had to be thrown in 
one direction or the other. The decision to 
attack Germany first and assume a strategic 
defensive in the Pacific was made initially 
on purely military grounds before Pearl 
Harbor, but when the matter came up for 
discussion at the British-American confer- 
ences in late December 1941 it was evident 

7 Rpt, Transportation, Comparative Data, World 
War I-World War II, pp. 12, 16, prepared by Contl 
Div OCT, Jul 43, OCT HB MPR. The report in- 
dicates that during 20 war months in 1917-18 the 
Army shipped 2,052,830 troops and 8,883,297 MT 
of cargo to oversea destinations, while in a corres- 
ponding period, 1941-43, it shipped 1,769,901 
troops and 26,688,794 MT. Recent research in 
OCMH has refined the 1941-43 figures to 1,761,132 
troops and 26,573,995 MT. 

that transportation was an important con- 
sideration favoring that decision. 8 

The transportation considerations in- 
cluded more than simply the limited num- 
ber of ships available for a two-ocean war. 9 
Since distances were much shorter in the 
Atlantic than in the Pacific, a given number 
of vessels could transport more men and 
supplies to the combat areas in a given 
period. Large-scale operations in the Pacific 
would involve many assault landings and 
the discharge of troops and cargo at poorly 
equipped ports and over beachheads, which 
meant slow dispatch of the vessels and 
correspondingly longer round voyages. The 
capacities of the ports on our Pacific coast 
and the rail lines which fed those ports 
were not then equal to the task of handling 
a major offensive to the west. The nature 
of the war in the Pacific required the 
presence of the major portion of the United 
States Fleet in that area, and therefore our 
western ports were required to handle a 
large supply operation in support of our 
naval forces in addition to whatever de- 
mands the Army might make upon them. 

From the beginning of World War II it 
was a generally accepted doctrine that 
troops would not be sent overseas unless 
there was assurance that they could be 

8 Rpt of U.S.-British Stf Convs, Jan-Mar 41, 27 
Mar 41(ABC-1), P&O GSUSA; Arcadia Proceed- 
ings, 24 Dec 41, An. 1. Mark Skinner Watson, Chief 
of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, UNITED 
ton, 1950), Ch. IV, indicates that in the summer 
of 1940 General Marshall already had concluded 
that in a war against Germany and Japan the de- 
feat of Germany should be the first objective. 

9 See typescript monograph, Col M. B. Stokes, Jr., 
C of Ping Div, OCT, Shipping in War— The Re- 
lationship Between Shipping and the Logistical 
Operations and Strategy of World War II, 21 Mar 
46, OCT HB Topic Logistics Gen. 



supplied adequately at all times. 10 This was 
a departure from the plan which had been 
followed in the first world war, and it 
reflected the conviction which prevailed 
after Pearl Harbor that virtually all equip- 
ment and the great preponderance of other 
supplies required by the American expedi- 
tionary forces would have to be shipped 
from the zone of interior. Under these 
circumstances it was necessary to establish 
and maintain a careful balance between 
troop and freight carrying vessels. Such 
balance did not exist when the United 
States entered the war, and even after a 
practical balance had been achieved it was 
difficult to maintain, because of changes in 
strategic plans and the variation of ship 
completion and ship loss figures from the 
forecasts. An approximate balance was held 
by emphasizing the construction of cargo 
ships and converting such ships to troop 
carriers when the need for additional troop 
capacity became apparent. The alterations 
on cargo ships were begun while the ships 
were under construction, and the time 
required to place such vessels in service was 
much less than that required to build vessels 
designed as regular troopships. 

Continuance of the lend-lease policy of 
sending large quantities of food, raw 
materials, and equipment to the Soviet 
Union and the nations of the British Com- 
monwealth after our entry into the war was 
a strategic decision of major importance, 
since it not only diverted supplies from our 
own armed forces but deprived them of 
sorely needed shipping. The officers respon- 
sible for Army transportation took an 
extremely serious view of this situation. A 

10 See Memo, C of Trans Br G^i for AGofS G^i, 
21 Dec 41, sub: Estimate of Shipping Available for 
U.S. Overseas Effort 1942 and 1943, Sec. IV, par. 
1, G-4/29717-116. 

few days after the declaration of war they 
gave the Chief of Staff a summary in which 
shipping was termed the bottleneck in the 
oversea effort, and the conflict between the 
shipping requirements for the lend-lease 
program and those for the maintenance of 
United States forces in the theaters was 
presented in bold terms. 11 Despite the 
extreme seriousness of the situation in the 
Far East during the winter of 1942, a 
movement of additional troops to that area 
received a shipping preference secondary to 
that for Russian aid. The early planning 
for the dispatch of American and British 
troops to French North Africa was gov- 
erned by a ruling of President Roosevelt 
and Prime Minister Churchill that there 
should be no stoppage in the flow of sup- 
plies to the Soviet Union and the Middle 
East. 12 In March 1943 the Chief of Trans- 
portation indicated that the increasing 
demand for shipping aid to the British, if 
accepted, would imperil military opera- 
tional plans resulting from discussions at 
the Casablanca Conference during the pre- 
ceding January. 13 

At times during the critical year 1942 as 
much as one-third of the ocean-going dry 
cargo fleet under the control of the War 
Shipping Administration was allocated to 
lend-lease services. While the conflict be- 
tween Army and lend-lease shipping pro- 
grams eased somewhat as the output of the 
American shipyards mounted and the rate 

11 Memo, ACofS G-4 for GofS USA, 11 Dec 41, 
sub : Shipping Situation, OCT HB Gross Day File ; 
see also Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 12 
Jan 42, par. 5d, sub: Capacity of Shipping, 

12 Memo, ACofS for Rear Adm Sherwoode 
A. Taffinder USN, 14 Feb 42, OCT HB Gross Day 
File; CCS Mtg, 23 Jan 42, Item 5. 

13 Memo, CofT for CofS USA, 17 Mar 43, sub: 
CCS 183/1-Review of Availability of UN Shipping, 
OCT HB Gross Day File. 



of sinkings fell off, it never was completely 
removed. 14 

Notwithstanding the decision to under- 
take the defeat of Germany first, our posi- 
tion in the Pacific soon became so serious 
that it was necessary to divert some vessels 
from the Atlantic and to reduce planned 
movements to the United Kingdom and 
Iceland proportionately. This decision was 
made at a meeting held at the White House 
on 1 2 January 1 942, attended by the Presi- 
dent, the British Prime Minister, and their 
principal military and civilian advisers." 
The first convoy from the east coast to the 
Pacific, consisting of seven troopships, sailed 
from New York on 22 January 1942, and 
a second convoy consisting of five ships 
sailed from New York on 3 March 1942. 
Both convoys were destined to Australia, 
but the greater part of the troops was to 
proceed thence to New Caledonia to assure 
the defense of that island, then under the 
control of the Free French." In the Ameri- 
can-British discussions, New Caledonia was 
termed a tempting bait for the Japanese 
because of its rich nickel mines, and it was 
pointed out that the enemy's seizure of the 
island would necessitate moving all rein- 
forcements to the Southwest Pacific by the 
long route south of New Zealand, and thus 
would render more acute the already serious 
shortage of shipping. During the first six 
months of 1942, ships carrying a total of 
approximately 40,000 troops were dis- 
patched from New York to the Pacific. 
Some cargo vessels also sailed from Atlantic 

14 WSA Monthly Shipping Summary shows dis- 
tribution of vessels under control of that agency. 

15 Memo, CofS USA for ACofS WPD, G-3, and 
G-4, 13 Jan 42, G-4/33983. 

16 Arcadia Proceedings, 11 Jan 42, pp. 5-6. Un- 
usual routing is explained in Memo, G— 4 for CofS 
USA, 18 Feb 42, G-4/33888. 

coast ports with supplies for the Pacific. 17 

This early effort to increase our resistance 
to the Japanese advance was reflected 
clearly in the deployment of shipping in the 
service of the Army. On 30 April 1942 the 
ocean-going cargo and troopships serving 
the Army in the Pacific areas totaled 1,891,- 
473 deadweight tons capacity, while those 
serving in the Atlantic areas totaled only 
677,776 deadweight. 13 The former figure 
embraced not only the vessels diverted from 
the Atlantic during the winter of 1942, 
but also a number of the larger British and 
American transatlantic liners which had 
been employed in the Pacific and Indian 
Oceans prior to that time and were being 
held there for the completion of planned 
movements of American and British 
troops. 19 Even at this early period Gen. 
Douglas MacArthur was pleading for the 
assignment of additional vessels to the 
Southwest Pacific, which he considered 
necessary to the execution of planned opera- 
tions within the theater. The Chief of 
Transportation was exploiting every means 
of meeting those requests, but with only 
partial success. 20 

Under these circumstances the early con- 
tributions to the build-up of American 
strength in the United Kingdom, a project 
designated by the code name Bolero, were 
modest indeed. The first contingent of 4,058 
troops departed on two vessels which 
sailed from New York on 15 January 1942 

17 Certain types of materiel were in short supply 
at this time and CofT had difficulty finding bal- 
anced cargoes for the available ships. See OCT HB 
Gross Australia. 

18 Army Service Forces Monthly Progress Report, 
Sec. 3, Transportation, 30 Apr 43, p. lb, hereafter 
cited as ASF MPR, Sec. 3. 

19 Arcadia Proceedings, 12 Jan 42, An. 1, and 
14 Jan 42, p. 2. 

20 File OCT HB Wylie Australia Mar 42-Jul 44 
reflects this situation. 



for Belfast, Ireland. A second group of nine 
vessels with 8,555 troops sailed from New 
York for Belfast on 19 February 1942. 
During the ensuing two months only small 
numbers of casuals left New York for the 
United Kingdom, and the next consider- 
able movement was on 29 April, when 
13,924 Army personnel were embarked on 
eight vessels, among them the British liner 
Aquitania which had just been returned 
from the Pacific. The large British liners 
Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, after 
the completion of assignments in the 
Pacific, entered the New York— United 
Kingdom service in May and June, res- 
pectively. For several months thereafter the 
mammoth "Queens" and an increasing 
number of smaller vessels landed substantial 
contingents of American troops in the 
United Kingdom. 21 

After a slow start because of the critical 
situation in the Pacific, the build-up of 
American strength in the United Kingdom 
again was delayed because of the invasion 
of North Africa, The North African ex- 
pedition had been discussed by the United 
States and British Chiefs of Staff on num- 
erous occasions during the winter and 
spring of 1 942 under the code names Gym- 
nast and Super gymnast, and agreement 
to proceed with the undertaking, under the 
new name Torch, was arrived at in the 
following July, 22 The earlier discussions had 
contemplated the landing of limited numbers 
of American and British troops with French 

21 For list of troopship sailings, see Summary of 
Historical Events and Statistics, NYPE, 1942, pp. 
10-11, OCT HB NYPE. 

22 Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the 
United States Army, July 1,1941 to June 30, 1943, 
pp. 18—19. Two such reports were issued by Gen- 
eral Marshall during the war period, cited here- 
after as Biennial Rpt, CofS USA, 1943, or 1945. 

collaboration. aj The plan finally adopted 
called for larger task forces, prepared to 
land against French resistance. The threat 
to the British position in Egypt from Axis 
forces based on Italian Libya, the possi- 
bility of a German invasion of Morocco and 
Algeria through France and Spain, and the 
strategic advantage of opening the Medi- 
terranean to Allied ships serving the Middle 
and Far East were factors in this decision. 24 

The period 27 October 1942 to 30 April 
1943 witnessed the embarkation of 761,000 
American and British troops destined to 
North Africa and the forwarding of 8,195,- 
000 measurement tons of materiel for their 
support. 25 These were men and supplies 
which otherwise might have been sent to or 
retained in the United Kingdom. A total of 
73,869 U.S. troops had been landed at 
British ports in August 1942, but this sub- 
stantial flow declined thereafter; it became 
a mere trickle during the winter of 1942—43 
and did not again attain the August figure 
until a full year had passed. 26 A correspond- 
ing reduction took place in the movement 
of cargo from the United States to the 
United Kingdom. Accordingly, a cross- 
Channel operation to establish an invasion 
force in northern France, which had been 
planned originally for the summer of 1943 
under the code name Roundup, was de- 

23 Arcadia Proceedings, 24 Dec 41, pp. 4-5, and 
26 Dec 41, An. 2. 

24 Biennial Rpts, CofS USA, 1943, p. 18, 1945, 
p. 9. OCT estimated that opening of Mediterranean 
would reduce shipping requirement 30 percent for 
shipments from U.S. and 40 percent for shipments 
from UK by eliminating long voyage around Cape. 
Memo, DCofT for Gen Moses, 9 Dec 42, sub: Sav- 
ing of Ships when Allies Contl Med, OCT 563.5. 

25 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, May 43, pp. 85-86. 

26 Historical Report of the Transportation Corps 
in the European Theater, Vol. Ill, Ch. VII, p. 16, 
OCT HB ETO; for schedule of Bolero troop move- 
ments prior to decision on Torch, Stf Conf, CG 
SOS, 26 Jun 42, Sec. 6, OCT HB ASF. 



f erred until the spring of 1 944 and renamed 
Overlord. 27 While many considerations 
contributed to this deferment of the main 
assault on the Continent, including the 
demands for men and materiel for combat 
areas in the Mediterranean and the Pacific, 
ocean transport was fully committed during 
the period and was in itself an effective 
block to the more rapid accumulation of 
strength in Great Britain. 28 

After the surrender of enemy forces in 
North Africa in May 1943, the operations 
were carried across the Mediterranean in 
an effort to force Italy out of the war. At 
the Trident Conference of American and 
British leaders held in Washington in that 
month, when the strategic plans for the 
continuance of the effort in the Mediter- 
ranean and in northern Europe were out- 
lined, it also was decided to maintain an 
unremitting offensive pressure on the Japa- 
nese in the Pacific and to increase the flow 
of materiel to China. 23 It was feasible at 
that time to plan with reasonable definite- 
ness for all of these undertakings because of 
the improvement in the shipping situation. 
American shipyards had so greatly in- 
creased their output that the total comple- 
tions for 1943 were expected to be more 
than twice those in 1942. Also it was fairly 
evident that the efforts of the Allies to curb 
the submarine were becoming increasingly 
effective. Nevertheless it still was necessary 

27 Biennial Rpt, CofS USA, 1945, p. 11. 

28 Memo, ACofS OPD for CofS USA, 18 Dec 42, 
sub: Shipment of Trs to UK, OPD 370.5 ETC* 
Sec 1, stated that additional troop lift would be 
available if (1) escorts could be provided from 
British or other sources, ( 2 ) cargo shipping could 
be augmented by reducing lend-lease or other re- 
quirements, (3) initial equipment of troops could 
be reduced. 

29 CCS 242/6, 25 May 43, sub: Final Rpt to 
President and Prime Minister, Sec. IV 3a, b, and 
Sec. V9; Biennial Rpt, CofS USA, 1945, p. 11. 

to use the available shipping most judicially, 
and those concerned with planning for 
ocean transport constantly were engaged in 
calculating what deployment of vessels 
would accomplish maximum results. 

The increased volume of shipping which 
became available to the Army during 1942 
and early 1943 was all needed for Torch, 
Bolero, and support of the bomber offen- 
sive from the United Kingdom, designated 
Sickle. On 30 April 1943 the tonnage of 
the merchant vessels serving the Army in 
the Pacific was slightly less than it had 
been a year previous, whereas the tonnage 
employed in the Atlantic had increased 
more than five-fold. 3 " Very soon, however, 
because of the continued growth of the 
merchant fleet and strategic decisions of the 
Allies, the volume of shipping employed in 
the Pacific began a steady rise. On 30 April 
1945, with Germany still putting up a last- 
ditch resistance, the shipping that served the 
Army was divided about equally between 
the Atlantic and the Pacific, with just under 
7,000,000 deadweight tons employed in 
each area." 

The steadily increasing volume of ship- 
ping assigned to the Pacific by the Army, 
together with the merchant vessels serving 
the Navy, 32 made possible the vigorous 
campaigns northward from Australia and 
westward from Hawaii that enabled the 
Allied forces to advance within easy striking 
distance of the Japanese homeland even 
before the termination of hostilities in 
Europe. The end of German resistance set 
in motion a carefully laid plan for the re- 
deployment of troops, materiel, and ship- 

30 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Apr 43, p. 16. 

31 ASF MPR, Sec. 3; Apr 45, p. 55. 

32 There was a high degree of interchangeability 
in the utilization of the ships assigned respectively 
to Army and Navy in Central and Southwest Paci- 
fic, a fact which later chapters will amplify. 



ping in order to place the preponderance 
of our war strength in the Pacific with the 
least possible delay. This operation was well 
under way when Japan surrendered. 

One of the essentials in the preparation 
for the final assault on Japan was the 
establishment of an advance base or bases 
adequate for the build-up of personnel and 
supplies and the eventual launching of the 
invasion. In May 1944 the Joint Strategic 
Survey Committee suggested that the sei- 
zure of Formosa and the bypassing of the 
Philippines might hasten the end of hostili- 
ties in the Pacific. 33 Despite the shorter 
distance from Formosa to the objective, the 
recapture of Luzon was considered the 
sounder strategy, and among the advan- 
tages taken into account were the better 
port and inland transportation facilities 
which Luzon offered. 34 

Strategic considerations were reflected in 
a number of transportation projects on the 
North American continent. Alaska was the 
northern anchor of our war operations in 
the Pacific. Even before Pearl Harbor the 
potential importance of Alaska was recog- 
nized and the strengthening of our military 
position in that territory was begun. Men 
and materiel were moved by the water route, 
but the feasibility of establishing a highway 
connection from a point on the Canadian 
National Railways to Fairbanks was given 
preliminary consideration. 35 Soon after our 
entry into the war, the possibility that the 
Japanese might attempt an invasion of 

™]CS 713/6, 29 May 44; JCS 713/15, 22 Sep 
44. Both in P&O GSUSA, ABC 384 Formosa (8 Sep 
43), Sec lc. 

34 Logistics in World War II, Final Report of the 
Army Service Forces (1947), p. 52. 

35 Memo for file, Trans Br G-4 WDGS, 8 Dec 41, 
sub: Alaskan International Highway, summarized 
actions taken to date, OCT HB Alaska— Alcan Hwy 
and Ry. See also Charles B. Quattlebaum, "Military 
Highways," Military Affairs (Fall 1944). 

Alaska and that their submarines might 
seriously interfere with our shipping serv- 
ices, as well as the desirability of conserving 
shipping wherever possible, brought the so- 
called Alcan Highway project to the fore. 
In February 1942 the Chief of Engineers 
was instructed to prepare plans for such a 
highway, and by October 1942 initial con- 
struction work had been completed over 
the entire length of the 1,480-mile pioneer 
road. 3 ' 1 The Canol project, under which the 
United States financed pipelines connecting 
Norman Wells, Watson Lake, White Horse, 
Skagway, and Fairbanks, and a refinery at 
White Horse, also was an attempt to pro- 
vide against the day when the movement of 
gasoline and other petroleum products to 
Alaska by the water route might be limited 
by enemy action. 37 Since the Japanese made 
no attempt to invade the Alaskan mainland 
and since the anticipated submarine menace 
did not eventuate, neither the Alcan High- 
way nor the Canol installations played an 
important role in the supply of our forces 
in that area. A barge line which was op- 
crated by the Army from Seattle and Prince 
Rupert over the inside passagewayto Juneau, 
Excursion Inlet, and Skagway handled an 
appreciable tonnage, but it did not attain 
the importance which was envisioned in the 
early days of the war. 38 

The strategic importance of Alaska as a 
vantage point from which to move supplies 

SG Memo, CofT for ACofS SOS, 27 Aug 42, sub: 
Org and Opn of Alcan Hwy, OCT 611 Alaska 1942 
Alcan Hwy. File G-4/304 36-21 includes numerous 
documents on early phases. For summary of cost, 
maintenance, and operation see Ltr, Julius H. Am- 
berg, Asst to SW, to Sen James M. Mead, 26 Apr 
45, ASF Contl Div 032.3 Mead Com. 

37 See Ping Div ASF file, Canol Project, 1942 
and 1943—44. See also Report of Senate Special 
Committee Investigating the National Defense Pro- 
gram, The -Canol Project, January 8, 1944. 

u See file AG 567 Alaska 1942 for pertinent 



to the Soviet Union and China gave rise to 
a number of other transportation projects 
which were not actually undertaken. A 
proposal was brought forward in 1942 to 
construct a standard gauge rail line con- 
necting the Canadian National Railways 
with the Alaska Railroad at Fairbanks. 39 
Although the project was believed to be 
feasible from an engineering standpoint, it 
was dropped because of the length of time 
that would be required for completion, the 
great quantity of strategic materials in- 
volved, and the fact that it did not appear 
to be a definite military necessity. The 
feasibility of extending the railway and the 
highway from Fairbanks to a port on the 
west coast of Alaska was explored to some 
extent but not seriously considered. 4 " 

The Panama Canal's great stategic signi- 
ficance, the possibility that communications 
with Central America might be seriously 
curtailed by submarine activity, and the 
importance of maintaining stable condi- 
tions in the Central American countries led 
the United States to take an interest in the 
completion of the Pan-American Highway 
as far as Panama. In July 1942 the Chief 

39 Memo, ACofS G-4 for WPD, 7 Jan 42, 
G-4/33820; Memo, the President for SW, 12 Feb 
42, OCT HB Alaska-Alcan Hwy and Ry; Ltr, SW 
to Secy State, 28 Apr 42, OSW C&R Railroads; 
Ltr, Gen Somervell to F. A. Delano Chm Natl 
Resources Ping Bd, 15 May 43, ASF Hq Alaska. 

"Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 10 Sep 42, sub: 
Northwest Route via Alaska-Siberia, OCT 370.5 
Russia; Memo, Admiral King for JCS, 21 Sep 42, 
sub: Campaign against Japan via Northern Route, 
ASF Hq Navy 1942-44; Memo, Somervell for 
CofS USA, 5 Oct 42, OPD 520 Sec 1 (Cases 1- 
24) ; Memo, CG SOS for CofS SOS (Styer), 6 Oct 
42, AG 611 Alaska (8-11-42) (1); Memo, Col 
R. T. Maddocks OPD for ACofS OPD, 4 Jan 43, 
sub: Northwest Route to China via Russia, OPD 
520 Sec 1 (Cases 1-24). Admiral King's memo 
suggested value of this route in attacking Japan via 
Kamchatka Peninsula. Maddocks' memo cited prob- 
lem of obtaining Soviet concurrence. 

of Engineers was instructed to initiate con- 
struction work on completion of pending 
negotiations with the countries concerned. 
The movement of construction materials 
from the United States proceeded slowly 
because of the scarcity of such materials 
and of shipping. By mid- 1943 the curbing 
of the submarine had canceled whatever 
immediate military importance the under- 
taking may have had, and Army participa- 
tion was terminated in October of that 
year. 41 The danger that the National Rail- 
ways of Mexico would prove inadequate to 
handle the traffic in which the United 
States was interested, particularly the stra- 
tegic materials imported from Mexico for 
our war industries, led to an undertaking to 
aid the rehabilitation of that system by 
providing technical personnel and equip- 
ment from the United States. 42 

After the confusion incident to the transi- 
tion from peace to war, and with the 
establishment of an adequate system for the 
control of portbound traffic, the railways 
and the ports in the eastern part of the 
United States proved capable of handling 
all oversea movements promptly. Such was 
not the case in the west, however. In peace- 
time a much lighter export traffic had 
moved through the Pacific coast ports, and 
their railway facilities in particular required 
considerable expansion in order to properly 
handle the volume of freight which was 
expected to move that way when a full- 
scale offensive against Japan was 
launched. 43 Correction of this situation be- 

41 See files OCT 611 Pan-Am Hwy and ASF Hq 
Pan-Am Hwy. General Gross states that he never 
considered the highway necessary from TC stand- 
point. See Ltr to author, 7 Dec 49, OCT HB TC 
Gen Gross. 

42 See files OCT 000.900 Mexico 1942 and AG 
617 Mexico 1942. 

43 Subject more fully discussed in Ch. IX 



gan in 1942 with the installation of addi- 
tional storage tracks at the principal ports 
by joint action of the Army and the rail- 
roads. The transcontinental carriers also 
took steps to increase their line haul. These 
improvements continued throughout the 
war. Nevertheless, in planning for the final 
blows against Japan it was necessary to 
provide for the routing of some of the 
cargo destined to the Pacific bases through 
Gulf and Atlantic ports. 

The foregoing brief review illustrates how 
basic transportation was to the conduct of 
the war and how the adequacy of the trans- 
portation facilities available to the Army 
conditioned strategic planning and opera- 

Magnitude of the Army's 
Transportation Task 

The task which fell to the Transportation 
Corps in World War II was described by 
Robert P. Patterson, the Under Secretary 
of War, as one "entirely without precedent 
in the history of our country." 44 It was in 
fact a transportation task without precedent 
in the history of the world. This was due to 
many conditions and circumstances, but pri- 
marily to the scope of hostilities and to re- 
cent developments in the art of warfare. It 
will aid in the understanding of the Trans- 
portation Corps' operating problems and 
accomplishments to review these conditions 
and circumstances briefly. 

World War II was actually global in its 
scope. The first world war had been so 
designated because the belligerents included 
nations from all continents, but the focal 
point of the fighting during 1914-18 was 
Europe. In the second world conflict every 

44 Ltr to CofT, 15 Aug 45, OCT HB TC Gen 

continent was an actual or potential battle- 
ground, and many an island which pre- 
viously had been known only to historians, 
geographers, or explorers flashed into the 
news headlines as the scene of bitter fight- 
ing. In addition, numerous continental 
areas and islands were garrisoned and forti- 
fied either to prevent their seizure by the 
enemy or to secure them as bases for our 
globe-girdling aerial operations. 

Hostilities on such a wide scale naturally 
called for large armed forces. In order to 
carry out its mission in World War II, the 
U.S. Army inducted roughly two and one- 
half times as many troops as it had called 
up in World War I. On 31 October 1940, 
just before the drafting of recruits under 
the Selective Service Act began, the strength 
of the Army was 519,805. Thenceforward 
to 31 May 1945, when the Army reached 
a peak strength of 8,291,336, nearly ten 
million men and women were placed in 
uniform. 45 This huge army had to be trans- 
ported during the various stages of training, 
moved to the oversea theaters and bases as 
strategic and logistic plans required, and 
eventually returned to the zone of interior. 
At all stages it had to be provided with 
supplies and equipment adequate for the 
task at hand. 

The more elaborate training given by all 
branches of the Army before the men were 
sent overseas resulted in more domestic 
travel per man in World War II than in 
World War I. Basically, the training of 
1917—18 called for three moves in the zone 

45 Rpt, STM-30, Strength of the Army, 1 Jul 45, 
p. 6 1 ; WD press release, 1 4 Feb 46, gave accessions 
1 Nov 40 through 30 Jun 45 as 10,033,640, and 
separations as 2,279,700, but it is believed that 
these figures include some duplications; Leonard 
P. Ayers, The War with Germany (Washington, 
1919), Ch. I, states that about 4,000,000 served in 
U.S. Army during WW I. 



of interior— from home to cantonment, 
from cantonment to specialized training 
camp, and thence to the port of embarka- 
tion. 46 The typical trainee of 1 94 1 — 45 
made five basic moves— from home to in- 
duction station, and thence successively to 
reception center, replacement training 
center, unit training center, and port of 
embarkation. Furthermore, in World War 
II many soldiers had to be transported to 
specialized training centers for desert, 
mountain, jungle, and amphibious warfare ; 
to schools for the study of technical subjects 
and military occupational specialities; and 
to maneuver areas. 4 ' 

Almost three and one-half times as many 
soldiers were sent overseas in World War II 
as in World War I. The Army embarked 
roughly 7,293,000 passengers for oversea 
destinations during the 45-month period, 
December 1941 through August 1945, of 
whom 6,902,000 were officers and enlisted 
men." About 350,000 of these soldiers were 
moved to stations on the North and South 
American continents or to near-by island 
bases, but the great majority crossed the At- 
lantic or the Pacific. Approximately 4,300,- 
000 troops were transported to Europe, 
Africa, and the Middle East over distances 
ranging from 3,100 to 12,000 nautical miles. 
About 2,000,000 were transported to sta- 
tions in or across the Pacific where the sea 
lanes ranged up to 6,500 miles. About 250, 
000 were transported halfway around the 
earth to India. In all cases the troops were 

is Crowell and Wilson, The Road to France, pp. 

47 Because of lack of uniformity in actual training 
an accurate comparison is difficult, but this is be- 
lieved to be a fair presentation. In addition to these 
official moves, each soldier made one or more fur- 
lough trips. 

48 Gross final rpt, p. 42. Slightly over 2,000,000 
troops were carried to Europe in 19 months of 
WW I. See Ayers, The War with Germany, p. 37. 

accompanied by their initial supplies and 
equipment and were supported subse- 
quently by regular shipments of mainte- 
nance materiel. 

Delivering the men and their materiel to 
the respective theaters and bases was only 
part of the ocean transportation job. One 
of the distinguishing characteristics of 
World War II was the repeated advances 
from established bases to new combat areas 
within the theaters. These intratheater op- 
erations might involve ocean voyages of a 
few miles as in the invasion of Normandy, 
several hundred miles as in the Mediter- 
ranean, or several thousand miles as in some 
of the Pacific operations which were 
mounted in Hawaii and Australia. The 
floating equipment which had to be pro- 
vided for such operations ranged from 
native outriggers used off the coast of New 
Guinea to large ocean liners and included 
many types of transports and landing craft 
which were specially designed to meet the 
peculiar requirements of amphibious war- 
fare. This large and complex task of ocean 
transportation may be compared with the 
relatively simple task of 1917—18, which 
involved moving the American Expedition- 
ary Forces directly to Europe by steamship 
services which operated in shuttle fashion 
over distances averaging about 3,300 nauti- 
cal miles. 

Intratheater movements of men and 
materiel in some instances involved long 
overland hauls. The use of Casablanca as 
one of the discharge ports for the North 
African expedition necessitated rail and 
highway movements up to 1,400 miles. The 
delivery of supplies to Kunming over the 
Burma Road, and later over the Stilwell 
Road, called for truck hauls of 710 and 
1,070 miles respectively. Lend-lease supplies 
sent to the USSR through the Persian Cor- 



ridor moved over 575 miles of railway to 
Tehran and 636 miles of highway to Kaz- 
vin, where they were turned over to repre- 
sentatives of the Soviet Union. In these and 
other instances, because of the inadequacy 
of the local transportation systems, Ameri- 
can personnel, equipment, and supplies 
were required in order that the operations 
might be accomplished efficiently. 

The fact that World War II required 
garrisons to be established in so many prim- 
itive and undeveloped places added to the 
transportation load, because the large 
amount of construction work required to 
make those garrisons effective had to be 
accomplished chiefly with personnel, equip- 
ment, and materials shipped from the 
United States. Docks and warehouses had 
to be constructed at ports and beaches 
which previously had handled little or no 
deepwater shipping. Roads had to be built 
through tropical jungles and over arctic 
wastes. Airstrips, gun emplacements, and 
housing had to be provided. Machinery for 
generating electric power, distilling water, 
and refrigerating foods had to be installed. 
Storage tanks for oil and gasoline had to be 
set up, and pipelines laid. Bulldozers, con- 
crete mixers, pile drivers, and other heavy 
equipment were needed to facilitate the 
work. A competent estimate places the 
number of installations built by the U.S. 
Army Engineers in oversea areas during 
the war at over 4,000. 4!) The Corps of 
Engineers shipped more than 18,000,000 
measurement tons of cargo overseas during 
the war. The highest monthly movement 
was 7 75,000 tons. 50 

Aside from the fact that their use in- 
volved extensive construction work, the new 

46 Ltr, Hist Div OCofEngrs to Hist Br OCT, 21 
Mar 47, OCT HB Topic CofEngrs. 

r, ° ASF Statistical Review, World War II, p. 129. 

oversea ports were slow in discharging army 
cargo while they were being developed, 
with the result that round voyages for the 
ships were unduly prolonged. This problem 
was encountered on a wide scale in the 
Pacific, but it was present also in Alaska, 
Greenland, Iceland, the Antilles, West Afri- 
ca, the Persian Gulf, and wherever military 
port operations were undertaken beyond 
peacetime capacities. It existed also at large 
and formerly well equipped ports, such as 
Naples, Marseille, Cherbourg, and Manila, 
which were in badly damaged condition 
when they were seized from the enemy and 
required extensive rehabilitation before they 
could be used effectively by Allied shipping. 

Among the new developments in war- 
fare which added to the transportation load 
was the amphibious assault. Although land 
and sea forces had co-operated in such 
assaults down through the centuries as cir- 
cumstances required, the military exigen- 
cies of World War II dictated a much more 
extensive use of this tactic than had been 
known before, and with greater use came 
a vast improvement in technique, including 
the addition of air power. 51 Large amphib- 
ious operations required the assembling of 
hundreds of vessels to move troops and 
materiel during the assault and support 
phases. Many of these vessels had to be 
withdrawn from regular transoceanic serv- 
ice for weeks or even months, and some had 
to be altered to prepare them for this 
special type of service. Since most amphib- 

51 For general description of mounting large am- 
phibious force see Roy E. Appleman, James M. 
Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, and John Stevens, Oki- 
nawa: The Last Battle, UNITED STATES ARMY 
IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1948), pp. 
36-43; for technical details see WD FM 31-5, 
Landing Operations on Hostile Shores, Nov 44, 
and Transport Quartermaster Manual, issued by 
Army Port and SvC, Honolulu, Nov 44, OCT HB 
Topic Amph Opns, 

AMPHIBIOUS OPERATIONS such as these marked the opening of numerous 
campaigns in both the Atlantic and Pacific areas. Landing supplies and equipment 
on the coast of Normandy (top). Beach operation at Leyte (bottom). 



ious operations were launched from bases 
outside the United States, the troops and 
supplies reached the objective by two or 
more voyages, rather than a single direct 

The ships employed in assaults on enemy- 
held positions were combat loaded, which 
meant that insofar as possible the troop 
units and their organizational equipment 
were placed in the same vessels and that the 
impedimenta were stowed in such a manner 
that they could be unloaded quickly and in 
the order required. 02 The impedimenta 
included not only the strictly military equip- 
ment necessary to the capture of the ob- 
jective but also a great number of small 
landing boats for putting men and ma- 
teriel ashore, and a great variety of wheeled 
and tracked vehicles needed to give the 
attacking force mobility after landing. For 
this type of cargo and stowage it was nec- 
essary to sacrifice up to 35 percent of the 
normal cargo capacity of the ships, as com- 
pared with commercial loading. 53 

World War II was the first great conflict 
during which the U.S. Army was exten- 
sively motorized. Men, artillery, and sup- 
plies literally went into action on wheels, 
powered by internal combustion engines. 
With the Allied forces in France and 
Flanders on 31 October 1918 the ratio of 
men to motor conveyances— trucks, auto- 
mobiles, and motorcycles— was about 37 to 
l. 54 With the American forces in the Euro- 
pean Theater of Operations on 30 April 

52 As the war progressed increasingly large per- 
centages of the vessels used in assault operations 
were specially designed naval vessels rather than 
merchant types. See Biennial Rpt, CofS USA, 1945, 
p. 73, for types of vessels used in seizure of Leyte. 

53 In the assault on Makin 4-6 percent of basic ship 
capacity was sacrificed — an unusually high percent- 
age due to extensive use of cargo pallets. See Makin, 
Hist Div SSUSA, American Forces in Action Series 
(Washington, 1946), p. 27. 

1945 the ratio was about 4.3 to l. 55 During 
World War I— that is, up to the Armistice— 
the United States Government accepted less 
than a hundred tanks from American 
manufacturers, and no other self-propelled 
motor-propelled weapons were completed, 
whereas during the five-year period ending 
31 July 1945 about 136,000 tanks and other 
self-propelled weapons were produced for 
the Army. 50 These comparisons illustrate 
the increase of motorization as between the 
two wars. The significance of the increase 
from a transportation standpoint lay in the 
fact that such equipment was bulky and 
took up a large amount of space when 
moved by ship or rail; the requirements of 
personnel, tools, and spare parts for assem- 
bling and maintenance work were heavy; 
and the engines consumed fabulous quan- 
tities of motor fuel and lubricants. 57 

World War II brought military air power 
to maturity. The United States Army, 
which had less than 3,000 aircraft on hand 
at the beginning of 1940, received more 
than 227,000 new aircraft during the five- 
year period ending 31 July 1945, and on 
the eve of V-E Day the military personnel 

$i Report of the Military Board of Allied Supply 
(Washington, 1924), I, 49, indicates that on that 
date the Allied forces numbered 8,516,678 officers 
and men and had a total of 229,452 motor con- 

55 American Enterprise in Europe — The Role of 
the SOS in the Defeat of Germany (Paris, 1945),, 
pp. 16, 64, gives the number of men as 3,065,505 
and the number of motor vehicles as 710,650. Com- 
pare Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe 
(Garden City, 1948), p. 501, n. 21. 

56 Benedict Crowell and Robert F. Wilson, The 
Armies of Industry (New Haven, 1921), pp. 132, 
199; Rpt, Munitions for the Army, prepared in 
OUSW, 9 Apr 46, p. 4, OCT HB WD Gen USW. 

57 Against the increased transportation load 
caused by motorization, there is a partial offset due 
to the great reduction of animals and forage as 
military cargo. 



of the Army Air Forces exceeded 2,300,- 
000. 58 By way of contrast, during World 
War I the United States produced less than 
14,000 trainer and service planes, and Air 
Service strength at the time of the Armis- 
tice was under 200,000. 59 With their equip- 
ment and personnel deployed around the 
globe, the Army Air Forces in World War II 
made heavy demands on land and water 
transportation. As in the case of motor 
vehicles, aircraft were bulky cargo and the 
requirements of personnel, spare parts, gaso- 
line, and lubricants were heavy. In the 
United States railroad cars and trucks were 
specially equipped to assure the safe trans- 
portation of delicate assemblies. Thirty-six 
cargo ships were converted to accommodate 
assembled planes in their holds, while hun- 
dreds of cargo ships and tankers were spe- 
cially fitted to carry aircraft as deckloads. 
Although the Air Transport Command 
handled an increasing amount of passenger 
and freight traffic as the war progressed, 
and emergency movements by air were of 
■utmost military importance, the volume of 
air traffic was small compared with Army- 
Air Forces' movements handled by surface 

The destructiveness of warfare reached 
a new level in World W r ar II. It was a war 
of movement and the tempo of the fighting 
was high. Aided by motorized equipment, 
the combat units moved farther and faster 
than ever before and were on the move 
more of the time. 60 The greater weight and 
accuracy of artillery fire produced devasta- 

58 Rpt, Munitions for the Army, prepared in 
OUSW, 9 Apr 46, pp. 3, 5, OCT HB WD Gen 
USW; United States Air Force Statistical Digest, 
1947, pp. 27, 28. 

50 Ayres, The War with Germany, Ch. VII. 

60 See Maj B. Corol and Maj I. Agibalov, "Tempo 
of Offensive Operations," Military Review (Sep- 
tember 1944). 

tion wherever the ground forces went into 
action and called for an amount of ammu- 
nition hitherto undreamed of. 61 The range 
of the bomber subjected military objectives 
within and far outside the combat zones to 
attack from the air. 02 The swifter tempo of 
the fighting produced greater attrition in 
weapons and other mechanisms.'"' It was 
common practice for a retiring force to de- 
stroy or damage local facilities which might 
be of service to an invading force. Insofar 
as this greater destruction and attrition af- 
fected the facilities, equipment, or supplies 
of our own armies, it meant that prompt 
replacement had to be made in order to 
maintain fighting efficiency, and this was 
an added burden on transportation. The 
same was true in the case of facilities such 
as docks, railroads, and power plants which 
were demolished while in enemy hands and 
which had to be rehabilitated by our own 
advancing forces with materials brought 
forward over our own lines of communica- 

In a report following the defeat of the 
Axis Powers, General Marshall referred to 
our superiority "in mobility and in fire 
power." CI This phrasing concisely sets forth 
one of the most important of the many 
tactical accomplishments of the war— the 
successful combination of power and mo- 
bility. Until recent times weight of weapons 
and flexibility were thought to be antagon- 
istic factors in combat; it seemed that one 
had to be sacrificed in favor of the other. 
But the larger actions of the war, particu- 

61 See statement by USW, WD press release, 13 
Nov 44. 

62 On 9 Jul 45 the AAF dropped the 2,000,000th 
ton of bombs on enemy objectives, WD press re- 
lease, 10 Jul 45. 

63 See Donald M. Nelson, "The High Cost of 
Victory," The Reader's Digest (December 1943). 

M Biennial Rpt, CofS USA, 1945, p. 95, 



larly in Continental Europe, proved that 
under modern conditions they are not in- 
compatible, and the burden of that proof 
rested on transportation— water, rail, and 
motor. In demonstrating that large and 
heavily armored forces could be moved 
quickly and over great distances, with sup- 
porting supplies and replacements always 
available, military transportation assumed 
a task in organized movement such as never 
before had been undertaken. 

Whereas in W orld War I more than half 
the equipment and supplies required by the 
American Expeditionary Forces in Europe 
was procured from European sources, 115 
in 1941—45 the requirements of our armies 
overseas were met overwhelmingly by ship- 
ments from the United States. In World 
War II substantial quantities of certain 
supplies were obtained from the various 
components of the British Commonwealth 
and France, and smaller quantities from 
other areas, under reverse lend-lease, GG but 
this local procurement constituted only a 
small percentage of the total materiel re- 
quired by our widely dispersed forces. Some 
of the areas occupied by our troops nor- 
mally were capable of producing only what 
was required by the local populations. Some 
areas had suffered so greatly from the rav- 
ages of war that their agricultural and in- 
dustrial productivity was far below normal. 

65 The General Purchasing Agent, AEF, reported 
that between June 1917 and 31 December 1918 
the AEF received from U.S. 7,675,410 MT of 
materiel, and that during the same period 10,192,- 
921 MT were procured in Europe with a saving of 
that amount of transatlantic ship space. See Report 
of the Military Board of Allied Supply (Washing- 
ton, 1925), II, 229, 246. 

m The President's Twenty-second Report to Con- 
gress on Lend-Lease Operations, June 14, 1946, p. 
20; Biennial Rpt, CofS USA, 1945, p. 100. About 
61 percent of total reverse lend-lease was furnished 
by the UK, on dollar value basis. 

Not only did the United States have 
heavy shipping requirements for the sup- 
port of its own oversea operations, but also 
for extensive help to other nations. Refer- 
ence has been made to the demands placed 
upon shipping by the lend-lease program 
under which approximately fifty billion dol- 
lars' worth of equipment and supplies was 
sent to nations which were actively fighting 
the Axis. This program competed with the 
Army for bottoms. Furthermore, the Army 
moved millions of tons of supplies on ves- 
sels under its own control for the aid of the 
impoverished civilian populations and for 
the re-equipment of the armed forces of 
countries which had been occupied by the 
Axis Powers until released by Allied forces. 
By 31 July 1945, with the war still going 
on in the Pacific, the Army had shipped 
nearly 6,000,000 long tons of civilian sup- 
plies to liberated and occupied areas, mostly 
in Europe.' 17 The shipments for the month 
of July alone totaled 1,205,026 long tons — 
largely of wheat, flour, and coal. These car- 
goes from the United States were supple- 
mented by cargoes from British sources, and 
all of them occupied ship space which could 
have been profitably employed by the 
armed forces. 68 

Because of the heavy fighting and the 
strange and trying climatic conditions to 
which American soldiers frequently were 
subjected, World War II called forth un- 
usual efforts on behalf of health and morale. 
The aim— only partially satisfied— was to 

87 Civilian supplies shipped as a military responsi- 
bility declined rapidly after the Japanese surrender. 
See WD Prog Rpt, Sec. 4-F, Civilian Supply, 31 
Dec 46, pp. 12, 14. 

6, On 22 Mar 45, CofT ASF writing to CofT 
ETOUSA, referring to the pressure for large ship- 
ments of civilian supplies said: "It is becoming a 
battle between the feeders and the fighters." OCT 
HB Gross Day File. 



provide the troops with hot meals, including 
fresh meats and vegetables, wherever the 
circumstances of their employment made 
this possible. The bulk of such supplies, as 
well as the equipment for preserving and 
preparing them, was shipped from the 
United States. Good shelter was important, 
particularly in cold and rainy areas, and at 
hundreds of stations throughout the world 
mobilization type barracks were built, fre- 
quently with American lumber, and thou- 
sands of quonset huts and prefabricated 
houses of American manufacture were set 
up. Supplies for up-to-date medical care 
and complete hospital facilities followed the 
troops wherever they went, and The Sur- 
geon General's shipments to oversea stations 
amounted to 50,000 measurement tons in 
the peak month, or the capacity load of five 
large cargo vessels. 6 " The American youth 
is accustomed to a full quota of recreation, 
and supplies for that purpose were provided 
at all Army stations— athletic goods, motion 
picture equipment, theatrical properties, 
books, magazines, soft drinks, ice cream, etc. 
The best builder of soldier morale— mail 
from home— was encouraged, with only 
moderate restrictions on the size of pack- 
ages. The Army ports of embarkation 
shipped a monthly average of about 65,000 
measurement tons of mail during the winter 
of 1944-45, and in November 1944, when 
Christmas mail was moving, they shipped 
more than 178,000 measurement tons. 70 
These and other provisions for the welfare 
of soldiers created demands for transporta- 
tion, within the zone of the interior and to 
the oversea bases, in addition to the de- 
mands for the movement of strictly military 
materiel. 71 

09 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Sep 44, pp. 26-27. 
70 Tabulation, Cargo Shipped by Army, in ASF 
MPR, Sec. 3, for respective months. 

The possibility of a broken supply line to 
one of our transoceanic theaters was a 
threat which had to be taken into considera- 
tion until the war was well advanced. With 
our troops deployed to many distant lands 
and largely dependent on supplies shipped 
from the zone of interior, this peril was very 
real. The Army's task was not only to sup- 
ply the current needs of the fighting forces 
but to establish in them a confidence that 
all future needs would be met. Such con- 
fidence contributes to the soldier's will to 
fight, and lack of it may lower his effi- 
ciency. 72 It cannot be claimed that Army 
transportation never failed in this respect. 
Surrender of the Philippines was hastened 
by inability to move materiel to that distant 
outpost through the enemy blockade. Suc- 
cess in the campaigns at Guadalcanal and 
Buna was seriously threatened by difficul- 
ties in getting supplies to the troops. After 
these early campaigns, however, our sup- 
ply lines to oversea combat areas were 
quickly established and were maintained in- 
tact. This became possible in part because 
of the effective protection given to our ship- 
ping and the great shipbuilding achieve- 
ment which added many more vessels than 
the enemy sank, but it was due in large 
measure also to effective strategic and lo- 
gistic planning in which transportation was 
always a basic consideration. 

71 Shipment of morale items was not entirely at 
the expense of military items, since some could be 
stowed as filler cargo in spaces left empty by stow- 
age of bulky equipment. 

72 Maj. Gen. J. C. F. Fuller of the British Army 
has presented this point in a dramatic manner. In 
The Reformation of War (London, 1923), p. 164, 
he says: "In war, the chief concern of the soldier is 
not to kill, but to live. He fixes his eyes on the 
communications of the army to which he belongs, 
and is terrified if they are threatened by the 



The Role of Long-Range Planning 

World War II, because of its geographic 
scope, the complexity of its military opera- 
tions, the strain which it placed on the re- 
sources of the Allied nations, and other 
characteristics which have been mentioned, 
called for planning of great range and per- 
spicacity. This planning had to be broad 
enough to comprehend the entire field of 
hostilities and meticulous enough to insure 
that the requirements of each operation 
were provided for. Improvisation and op- 
portunism had no place in the strategic 
concept, though they might become neces- 
sary in the execution of that concept.' 3 Care- 
ful calculation and recalculation were the 
basis of each military undertaking. The 
planning embraced the build-up of our 
troop strength, military supplies, and means 
of transportation, together with the co- 
ordination of these elements to avoid idle- 
ness and waste. 

The object of transportation planning 
was first to determine the deployment of 
forces that could be undertaken with the 
transportation resources likely to be avail- 
able, and then to assure that when the time 
to launch an operation arrived the com- 
mander could proceed boldly and with con- 
fidence in his logistic support. The Axis 
Powers had failed in certain aspects of 
their long-range planning, including that 
for transportation. The swift victory in 
France in June 1940 found Germany with 
no well-developed program for the inva- 
sion of Britain and no suitable and adequate 
marine equipment for the purpose, a failure 
which had a pronounced influence on the 

73 JCS 30, 5 Apr 42, JSP Rpt. On general subject 
see Col G. C, Shaw, Supply in Modern War (Lon- 
don, 1938), pp. 334, 340, 

course of the w r ar. 74 Germany also under- 
estimated the transportation problems in- 
volved in carrying the invasion of the Soviet 
Union to a successful conclusion. The Jap- 
anese occupied numerous bases in the Paci- 
fic and the East Indies which proved to be 
of little or no value to them strategically but 
rather created logistic problems with which 
they eventually were unable to cope because 
of their shrinking merchant marine. Ta It was 
careful long-range planning on the part of 
the Allies which enabled them to avoid such 
mistakes and to perform huge transporta- 
tion tasks repeatedly and with conspicuous 

Planning for Allied operations proceeded 
on three levels— international, national, and 
within each armed service. The work on 
each level contributed to that on the level 
above and conditioned that on the level 

Although certain general understandings 
had been reached earlier, American-British 
planning for specific military operations was 
initiated during the first month of the war 
when the Prime Minister and his military 
staff met with the President and his advisers 
in Washington to discuss the Allied strategy. 
It was continued at the frequent meetings 
of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, which be- 
gan functioning early in 1942, and at the 
occasional conferences between the Presi- 
dent, the Prime Minister, and the heads of 
other Allied powers. The broad strategic 

74 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, Interv 55, 27 
Jun 45, with Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel, 
pp. 10, 11 ; postwar essay by Admiral Karl Doenitz, 
"Conduct of the War at Sea" (Div of Naval Int 
USN), 15 Jan 46, pp. 9, 10; statement by British 
Prime Minister, in Hansard, Parliamentary Debates 
(House of Commons), 18 Nov 46, pp. 52-53. 

73 Regarding Axis failures, see Biennial Rpt, CofS 
USA, 1945, pp. 1-4; also, Hanson W. Baldwin, 
"Foe's Errors Aid Us," The New York Times, 
August 30, 1945. 



programs and agreements resulting from 
these conferences and meetings were de- 
signed to utilize the combined resources of 
the participating powers to the best advan- 
tage of the Allied cause as a whole. From 
the beginning, transportation— particularly 
ocean transportation— was one of the basic 
ingredients of every strategic plan; and it 
was one of the most difficult to deal with be- 
cause of the critical shortage of ships, the 
uncertainty as to the extent of ship losses 
by enemy action, and the competing de- 
mands of the lend-lease and civilian ship- 
ping programs. The operation of the mer- 
chant fleets of the United States and the 
British Commonwealth, together with such 
neutral passenger and cargo vessels as could 
be brought under Allied control, as a large 
and flexible pool of shipping was one of 
the more notable logistic accomplishments 
of the war. 70 

On the national level, long-range military 
planning was fostered by and centered in 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which also func- 
tioned as the American component of the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff. JCS exercised A 
broad control over the strategic and logistic 
planning and operations of the U.S. armed 
forces, with direct responsibility to the Presi- 
dent as Commander in Chief. One of the 
basic tasks of JCS, as the over-all planning 
and co-ordinating agency for the military 
efforts of the Army and the Navy, was to 
insure that the armed forces had the ocean 
transport needed for their operations. On 
the one hand this involved determining as 
far in advance as possible the amount and 
types of merchant shipping required and 
arranging with the U.S. Maritime Commis- 

70 For discussion of pooling under the Allied Mari- 
time Transport Council in WW I, see J. A. Salter, 
Allied Shipping Control (Oxford University Press, 
1921 ), Pt. IV. 

sion for the construction of such new vessels 
as were needed; and on the other hand it 
involved arranging with the War Shipping 
Administration for the allocation of specific 
amounts of shipping to the Army and the 
Navy from the pool of vessels which was 
operated under the control of that agency. 77 
The Joint Chiefs of Staff also undertook to 
co-ordinate Army and Navy supply and 
transportation operations, particularly in 
the Pacific, in order to avoid unnecessary 
duplication and waste, but it was less suc- 
cessful in this than in other endeavors be- 
cause of basic differences in the logistic 
practices of the two services. 

On the War Department level the pri- 
mary responsibility for transportation plan- 
ning naturally rested with the Chief of 
Transportation. He worked in close co- 
ordination with the elements of the Army 
Service Forces headquarters and the Op- 
erations Division of the War Department 
General Staff, which were concerned with 
planning for the movement of military per- 
sonnel and materiel within the zone of in- 
ferior and to oversea stations. It was his 
task to see that numbers of men and tons of 
freight were translated into terms of ship- 
ping space and to arrange that adequate 
transportation should be available for the 
execution of each projected operation. The 
Chief of Transportation was the most ac- 
tive War Department representative on the 
Joint Military Transportation Committee 
and the Combined Military Transportation 
Committee, which prepared studies and 
proposals for consideration by the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff and the Combined Chiefs 
of Staff. 

77 The work of CCS and JCS and their subsidiary 
organizations in regar d to tr ansportation will be 
more fully discussed in |Gh. V.| 



A strong planning staff, maintained in 
the Office of the Chief of Transportation, 
kept abreast of military developments and 
provided both General Somervell and Gen- 
eral Gross with transportation data for their 
planning activities on the War Department, 
national, and international levels. Gross had 
established this staff in the spring of 1941 
as a section of the Transportation Branch of 
the Supply Division in the War Department 
General Staff. At that time the shipping 
shortage already was felt and a more crit- 
ical situation was foreseen. During the 
months preceding entry of the United States 
into the war, this section developed data 
and 'techniques which were of great service 
during the difficult days following Pearl 
Harbor. Eventually it became the Planning 
Division in the Office of the Chief of Trans- 
portation, Army Service Forces. It pre- 
pared, as frequently as circumstances re- 
quired, studies covering future shipping 
requirements, the volume of shipping likely 
to be available, and the capability of that 
shipping to effect movements of men and 
materiel under various plans for their utili- 
zation. 78 Its studies covered also the capa- 
bilities of the inland transportation systems 
and the ports of the United States to handle 
the projected traffic. 

The Chief of Transportation's Planning 
Division collaborated extensively with the 
planning staff in Army Service Forces head- 
quarters, and one or more of the division's 
members accompanied the War Depart- 
ment representatives to the meetings of the 
heads of Allied governments to assist them 
in dealing with the ubiquitous transporta- 
tion problem. The inseparability of trans- 

7g For activities of Ping Div see its Annual Rpt, 
FY 1945; Memo, Ping Div for Exec OCT, 3 Oct 
45, sub: Accomplishments and Handicaps; Hist 
Summary, by Ping Div, 26 Jun 46. All in OCT HB 
Ping Div Gen. 

portation and supply matters, and the need 
for continuous co-ordination, led to a pro- 
posal in the fall of 1943 to absorb the Chief 
of Transportation's Planning Division into 
the Army Service Forces headquarters staff. 
General Gross vigorously opposed the sug- 
gestion on the ground that it would weaken 
a vital working relationship which had been 
built up between himself, his Director of 
Operations, his several operating divisions, 
and his planning organization. His opposi- 
tion was successful, for although the trans- 
fer was ordered, the order was rescinded 
before actual transfer and the necessary 
changes in procedures had been effected. 79 
The planning for ocean transportation 
involved many factors which were subject 
to fluctuation, and a change affecting one 
factor might, and frequently did, necessitate 
complete revision of earlier calculations. 
The introduction of a new military under- 
taking calling for a goodly number of ships 
necessitated a revision in the allocation of 
vessels to other projects. Estimates of the 
future output of American shipyards were 
important factors in determining what over- 
sea operations reasonably could be pro- 
jected, and any failure to realize those esti- 
mates had a disturbing effect. Possible 
variation in the rate of ship losses was taken 
into account, and changes in the tactics and 
locations of enemy submarines were care- 
fully watched. When sinkings off the coast 
of Norway made the northern route to the 
USSR untenable, that route was abandoned 
temporarily and more lend-lease supplies for 
the Soviet Union were routed through Per- 
sian Gulf ports. When it became apparent 
that the shorter route through the Medi- 
terranean would become available for 
American and British movements to the 

79 ASF Adm Memos S-72, 21 Oct 43, and S-85, 
10 Nov 43, OCT HB Ping Div Gen. 

OVERSEA PORTS. The Army-operated port of Khorramshahr, Iran (top). 
First large vessel to dock at Naha after the invasion of Okinawa (bottom). The 
capacity of ports to discharge and forward cargo had to be carefully calculated in 

planning military operations. 



Middle and Far East, full advantage of the 
resultant saving in ships was taken in plan- 
ning future operations. The same was true 
when the possibility of moving lend-lease 
supplies to the Soviet Union through Black 
Sea ports rather than the Persian Gulf be- 
came reasonably certain. No transportation 
policy or program was considered inflexible; 
it was always subject to adjustment in the 
light of new conditions. 

It was part of the planning task to esti- 
mate the capacities of oversea ports to dis- 
charge cargo and clear it to dumps and de- 
pots. This was an especially difficult task 
since the estimates so frequently had to take 
into account the extent of damage and the 
amount of rehabilitation work likely to be 
required at ports captured from the enemy, 
and also the uncertainties of discharge op- 
erations at beaches and in primitive har- 
bors. Similar estimates had to be made as 
to the capabilities of railways, highways, 
and inland waterways in the areas to be 
invaded and the amount of reconstruction 
and new construction likely to be required 
in the establishment of adequate lines of 
communication in those areas. The operat- 
ing divisions in the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation, which were concerned with 
the respective types of transportation, con- 
ducted initial research into these questions, 
utilizing whatever sources of information 
could be tapped, in or out of the War De- 
partment. This information was co-ordin- 
ated and adapted to the use of the Chief of 
Transportation by his Planning Division. 

The progress of military operations in the 
principal theaters was followed closely by 
the Planning Division, and revised estimates 
of the capabilities of lines of communication 
were made from time to time. Such studies 
threw light not only on the quantities of 
supplies which the Transportation Corps 

would be requested to move to the theaters, 
but also on the ability of the theaters to 
properly handle the supplies which they 
had requisitioned and their ability to dis- 
charge vessels promptly and return them to 
their home ports. The studies also forecast 
the future requirements of the theaters for 
transportation troop units and transporta- 
tion equipment, for the procurement of 
which the Chief of Transportation was re- 
sponsible a matter concerning which the 
Planning Division had a co-ordinating re- 
sponsibility that called for close collabora- 
tion with the Director of Military Training 
and the Director of Supply in the Office of 
the Chief of Transportation. 

Long-range planning for transportation 
in the zone of interior proceeded less au- 
spiciously than planning for ocean trans- 
portation and for the lines of communica- 
tion in oversea theaters. This was due partly 
to differing opinions regarding the extent 
of the need for additional domestic trans- 
portation facilities and partly to disagree- 
ment as to whether the government or in- 
dustry should assume the cost. 80 After the 
United States had entered the war the pro- 
duction of ships, tanks, aircraft, and other 
strictly military items made such heavy de- 
mands on the supplies of steel and other 
strategic materials that only limited amounts 
of these commodities could be made avail- 
able for the manufacture of equipment for 
domestic carrieis. Planning for zone of in- 
terior transportation, therefore, was directed 
toward the judicious utilization of the 
limited materials that were available and 
the efficient employment of existing trans- 
portation resources, including both equip- 
ment and manpower. The Chief of Trans- 
portation took an active interest in all these 
matters, and his planning and operating 

80 Fuller discussion will be found in ph. IX 



staffs co-operated closely with the other fed- 
eral agencies concerned, as well as with the 
several branches of the transportation in- 

Relative Advantages of the Contending 

Since transportation is so vital an ele- 
ment in a nation's ability to wage modern 
war, an appraisal of the relative transporta- 
tion advantages of the Allies and the Axis 
Powers is of basic importance. From the 
standpoint of geography the advantage was 
strongly with the Axis. Germany and Japan 
had shorter lines of communication, which 
meant that they required less transportation 
equipment and had less military manpower 
and materiel tied up in the "pipeline" from 
the zone of interior to the combat areas. 
Germany also had inside lines of communi- 
cation radiating from the homeland to the 
combat areas, a situation which afforded 
greater flexibility in the redeployment of 
troops and supplies. The fact that Ger- 
many's lines of communication were mostly 
overland meant that her war potential was 
less affected by the hazards which beset 
ocean shipping and that her army could 
employ short-range transport planes more 
extensively in its logistic operations. These 
natural transportation advantages which 
the Axis Powers enjoyed in the beginning 
had to be offset by the Allies before the 
war could be won. 

Germany's transportation systems had 
been carefully planned with a view to their 
utility in time of war. The railways were 
well laid out and highly efficient. After 
Hitler's accession to power a system of 
superhighways had been constructed which 
enabled mechanized forces and supplies to 
be moved north, east, south, or west with 

remarkable speed. 81 It was reported from 
various sources that during the 1933—38 
period the German railways were neglected 
in favor of highway development, and con- 
sequently were under a handicap when war 
came. 82 Thereafter, railroad equipment had 
a high priority in the production program, 
and as late as January 1944 United States 
military intelligence reports indicated that 
the rail lines were functioning effectively 
and were being maintained well. 83 Their 
services were largely at the disposal of the 
military establishment, since civilian use was 
severely curtailed. 

It is clear, on the other hand, that the 
German transportation systems at all times 
had a very narrow margin of safety. Both 
immediately before and during the war the 
production of railway and motor equipment 
was limited by the over-all scarcity of ma- 
terials and the heavy requirements for 
strictly military items. While the Reich ac- 
quired a considerable number of locomo- 
tives, cars, and trucks in the conquest of 
western Europe, her needs on the eastern 
front were large and her losses there ex- 
ceedingly heavy. 84 The lack of readily acces- 
sible crude petroleum was a serious handi- 

81 See Charles B. Quattlebaum, "Military High- 
ways," Military Affairs (Fall 1944), p. 227. 

" 2 Ltr, AAR to Gen Gross, 1 1 Aug 42, and at- 
tached digest of rpts, OCT HB Gross Rail AAR 
Equip Program. 

83 Rpt 86, OSS, 20 Oct 42, sub: The Locomotive 
Position in Axis Dominated Europe, OCT 453 RR 
Requirements; Col Curtis H. Nance, War Report, 
Min of Army-Navy Conf of Industry, Labor, and 
other Leaders, Los Angeles, 7—8 Jan 44, p. 21, OCT 
HB Topic Logistics Gen; U.S. Strategic Bombing 
Survey, Trans Div Rpt, The Effects oj Strategic 
Bombing on German Transportation, 20 Nov 45, 
PP. 1, 2. 

84 Regarding German transportation problems on 
eastern front and in Balkans, see study, Advantages 
and Defects of European Transport Networks, Ger- 
man Air Hist Br, 30 Oct 44, Translation VII/IV, 


RAILROAD YARDS at St. Lo, France (top) and Battipaglia, Italy (bottom) show 
the cumulative effects of Allied bombing and German demolition. Aerial bombard- 
ment of railroads in Europe seriously disrupted enemy military and industrial 




cap, and the reserves of both natural and 
synthetic oil fuels and lubricants were very 
small from the outset. 85 

Despite the strain which war on several 
fronts imposed on the transportation sys- 
tems of Germany, there is no basis for stat- 
ing that her lines of communication in 
western Europe would have failed from 
inherent weaknesses or internal causes. 
Their failure in the late stages of the war 
resulted from the terrific aerial bombard- 
ment to which transportation and its sup- 
porting industries were subjected. During 
the latter half of 1 944 and the early part of 
1945, Allied bombers subjected Continental 
railways, highways, waterways, oil wells and 
refineries, synthetic oil and rubber plants, 
railway equipment and motor vehicle 
manufacturing plants, steel mills, and ball 
bearing works to a merciless pounding, 
which in the end largely immobilized trans- 
portation and in consequence seriously af- 
fected all branches of industrial activity. H " 
Up to the spring of 1944, when the heavy 
bombing of Continental transportation tar- 
gets got under way, the railroads had been 
able to meet the demands placed upon 
them, but by the first week of March 1945 
(the last week of record) carloadings had 

Rj U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, Oil Division 
Final Report, January 1947, p. 1. 

K,i Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, pp. 384—85, 
describes Operation Clarion, executed 22 Feb 45, 
as "one gigantic blow against the transportation 
system of Germany, with specific targets specially 
selected so as to occasion the greatest possible dam- 
age and the maximum amount of delay in their 
repair"; 9,000 aircraft from bases in England, 
France, Italy, Belgium, and Holland participated. 
See U.S. Strategic, Bombing Survey, Interv 51, 25 
Jun 45, p. 5, Interv 55, 27 Jun 45, p. 21, and Interv 
62, 29 Jun 45, p. 10, for testimony of Generalfeld- 
marschalls Gerd Von Rundstedt and Keitel, and 
Generaloberst Alfred Jodl, respectively, which indi- 
cate that transportation on western front was seri- 
ously affected from summer of 1944 and had almost 
ceased to function in spring of 1945. 

dropped to less than one-fourth of what 
they had been a year earlier. As the result of 
air raids on truck manufacturing plants, the 
output of vehicles in March 1945 was only 
23 percent of the monthly average during 
the first six months of 1944, and the decline 
of fuel supplies which took place concur- 
rently immobilized much of the existing 
motor equipment." The bombing and straf- 
ing of trains, marshaling yards, and motor 
convoys, in addition to taking a heavy toll 
of the equipment directly attacked, slowed 
down all transportation operations/ 8 

Water transportation played a useful but 
subordinate role in the German war effort. 
The highly developed inland waterway sys- 
tems of central and eastern Europe and the 
coastwise services gave appreciable relief to 
the hard-pressed railroads. During the pe- 
riod when Germany controlled the French 
ports and used them as submarine bases, her 
merchant vessels were able to run the Allied 
blockade with considerable freedom, but as 
the Allied naval and air forces grew stronger 
the risk became greater, and after Germany 
lost control of the western French ports her 
operations on the long sea routes virtually 
ceased. German shipping on the short routes 
in the Baltic and North Seas, which brought 
valuable imports, particularly iron ore, from 
the Scandinavian Peninsula, also felt the 
increasing strength of Allied air and sea 
power. After the Allied success in North 

87 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, Over-all Re- 
port (European War), September 30, 1945, pp. 39— 
45, 59-65, summarizes effect of air attack on oil 
supply, transportation, and the motor vehicle in- 

Hfi Allied Forces Supreme Headquarters, Eisen- 
hower's Own Story of the War (New York, 1946), 
p. 94. The effect of transportation disruption on 
German military operations in Normandy is de- 
scribed in Omaha Beachhead, Hist Div SSUSA, 
American Forces in Action Series (Washington, 
1945), p. 149. 



Africa, German shipping operations in the 
Mediterranean were on a rapidly diminish- 
ing scale. 8 " 

The transportation situation of Japan 
was exactly opposite to that of Germany. 
Her principal sources of raw materials were 
overseas, and in consequence her war po- 
tential was dependent heavily on her mer- 
chant marine. After her entry into the war, 
Japan was confronted with the dual task 
of maintaining a great circle of defense 
bases around the homeland and securing 
new sources of raw materials to supplement 
those already acquired on the Asiatic main- 
land. This task would have been an enor- 
mous one, considering the small size of Ja- 
pan's merchant marine and her limited 
shipbuilding capacity, even under more pro- 
pitious circumstances. As the United States 
rapidly increased her fleets of aircraft and 
naval vessels and extended her naval and 
air bases into the western Pacific, Japanese 
shipping capacity was reduced to the point 
where it was quite inadequate for the per- 
formance of the task with which it was 

The position of Japanese transportation 
toward the close of hostilities was clearly 
defined by Premier Naruhiko Higashi-Kuni 
in an address to the Japanese Diet on 5 
September 1945. 90 He stated that, in addi- 
tion to the shipping capacity having been 
reduced about 75 percent by sinkings, the 
efficiency of operations had been curtailed 
markedly by the scarcity of fuel and by 
enemy interference. Because of bombings 
and the depreciation of rolling stock, the 
carrying capacity of the railways in mid- 

83 For discussion of Allied methods of limiting 
German imports, other than by attacks on shipping, 
see John V. Lovitt, "The Allied Blockade," De- 
partment of State Bulletin, November 19, 1944. 

90 Transcription published in The New York 
Times, September 6, 1945. 

1945 was less than half that of the preced- 
ing year. The supply of liquid fuel had been 
reduced to what could be obtained in Ja- 
pan, Manchuria, and China. The reduction 
in coal output and the difficulty of trans- 
porting the product had caused a general 
decline in industrial activity. Steel produc- 
tion had been cut to one-fourth of prewar 
output, so that little was available for build- 
ing new ships. Under the circumstances it 
became barely possible to provide the Jap- 
anese forces in the various parts of "Greater 
East Asia" with adequate equipment. 91 On 
the other hand, the Japanese Premier point- 
ed out, the capacity of the Allied nations for 
the supply and replenishment of their forces 
was always on the increase because of their 
vast resources and industrial power. 

To recapitulate: Germany, through mis- 
calculations or strategic blunders which in- 
volved her in a long multifront war, found 
her vital land transportation systems sub- 
ject to disruption from the air to an extent 
which far exceeded her anticipation. Japan, 
with her multitude of oversea garrisons and 
supply sources, saw her essential merchant 
marine devastated by attacks of unforeseen 
intensity from air and sea. During the later 
stages of the war the Allied strategists gave 
transportation targets a high priority, and 
the leaders of the defeated powers testified 
to the effectiveness of that strategy. The 
Allies' ability to produce unprecedented 

91 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, Summary Re- 
port (Pacific War), July 1, 1946, states that on 
1 Mar 45 the Japanese decided not to send further 
supplies to their ground forces outside the home 
islands (p. 8) ; Japanese merchant fleet (vessels of 
500 gross tons or more) aggregated about 6,000,000 
tons gross in Dec 41, had accretions of about 4,000,- 
000 tons during the war, and suffered losses through 
sinking or serious damage totaling 8,900,000 tons 
(p. 11); Japanese railway system had not been sub- 
jected to widespread attack but damage to local 
facilities had seriously disrupted movement of sup- 
plies within and between cities (p. 17). 



numbers of aircraft, naval vessels, and mer- 
chant ships, in addition to other necessary 
war materiel, enabled them to carry the 
fighting to the German and Japanese home- 
lands over widely extended lines of com- 
munication and at the same time seriously 
reduce the efficiency of the foe's communi- 
cations. The Allies' ability to outproduce 
Axis industry by a large margin, plus their 
more accessible and abundant resources of 
petroleum and other raw materials, enabled 
them eventually to more than offset the 
transportation advantage which their op- 

ponents had held at the beginning of the 
war by reason of geography. 92 This tre- 
mendous productive power completely up- 
set the conventional theory that the enemy 
would get tougher as his lines of communi- 
cation became shorter and the Allied lines 
became longer. 93 

92 For comparison of U.S. War production with 
world production, see War Production in 1944, rpt 
of WPB Chm (Washington, 1945), p. 22. 

93 See Maj George Fielding Eliot, "The Enemy 
Will Get Tougher and Tougher," Look, February 9, 


of the Transportation Corps 

When in December 1941 the United 
States was plunged into a global war with 
unprecedented transportation implications, 
the Army's plan for dealing with transporta- 
tion matters was essentially what it had been 
in peacetime. There had been some expan- 
sion of personnel and facilities during the 
prewar emergency, but the organizational 
set-up was basically the same as that which 
had existed during the 1 930's. There was 
a lack of integration and some disagreement 
as to where certain responsibilities rested. 
A long step toward correction of this weak- 
ness was taken in March 1 942 when a trans- 
portation service under a chief of transpor- 
tation was established. Further progress was 
made when the Transportation Corps was 
created in July 1942, and again when the 
corps' responsibilities were considerably ex- 
panded a few months later. Nevertheless, 
some transportation responsibilities re- 
mained outside the purview of the corps 
throughout the period of hostilities. In cer- 
tain respects, therefore, the experience of 
World War II was a repetition of the ex- 
perience of World War I. 

It would be misleading, however, to im- 
ply that Army transportation in World War 
II did not benefit from the experience of 
the previous conflict. In many ways it did. 
During the years 1940—41, when the United 
States was drifting nearer and nearer to a 
state of open belligerency, some of the les- 

sons of 1917—18 were recalled and applied 
to the solution of problems then arising and 
to preparations for eventualities. After Pearl 
Harbor knowledge of the adjustments 
which had become necessary during the 
earlier war furnished a guide for the estab- 
lishment of new organizations and proce- 
dures, and a workable plan was evolved 
much more quickly. On the other hand, the 
difficulty of making sweeping adjustments 
while working under wartime pressure pre- 
vented certain changes which would have 
been beneficial, and some of the rearrange- 
ments that were made fell short of the ideal. 
In order that the relationship between the 
two wars with regard to transportation ad- 
ministration may be understood more read- 
ily, a brief review of major developments 
during the first world conflict is presented. 

Army Transportation in World War I 

The story of Army transportation in the 
first world war is an involved one, for the 
machinery of administration underwent an 
almost ceaseless evolution. Neither in the 
zone of interior nor with the American Ex- 
peditionary Forces in France was a satis- 
factory and stable form of organization 
achieved until after the cessation of hostili- 
ties. There was, moreover, a lack of co- 
ordination between the Army transporta- 
tion organization in the United States and 



that in France, so that each developed along 
independent lines, under the influence of 
differing conditions and different person- 

When the United States joined the Allies 
in April 1917, transportation for the War 
Department was basically the responsibility 
of The Quartermaster General. 1 He had 
supervision of transportation by common 
carrier between posts, camps, and stations 
within the United States, and of shipments 
overseas by commercial vessels. He super- 
vised the operation and maintenance of the 
Army Transport Service, which included 
the Army's ports of embarkation where 
troops and military supplies moving over- 
seas were transshipped, and a fleet of seven 
Army transports. While the Office of the 
Quartermaster General performed these 
supervisory functions, the actual control of 
transportation operations was largely de- 
centralized. Shipments by inland carriers 
were made by local quartermasters or by the 
shipping officers of other Army supply bu- 
reaus, who did not consult the Land Trans- 
portation Branch in The Quartermaster 
General's Transportation Division except 
when the movements were so large as to 
create problems which they individually 
could not manage. Oversea shipments were 
handled by Army Transport Service super- 
intendents at the principal ports, and at the 
smaller ports, by local depot quartermasters, 
who acted under the general guidance of 
the Water Transportation Branch of the 
Transportation Division but enjoyed a large 
degree of independence. The operation of 
Army port facilities and Army transports 
was the responsibility of the Army Trans- 

1 Statements regarding transportation within the 
U.S. and ocean transportation, except as otherwise 
indicated, are based on Report of the Chief of Stag, 
U. S. Army, 1919, pp. 15-23, 111-19, 147-67, 195- 
96, 208-12. 

port Service superintendents, acting within 
the general policies developed by the Water 
Transportation Branch. 

Before the war had progressed many 
months it became evident that stronger or- 
ganizations would be required at the princi- 
pal ports to transship large numbers of 
troops and large quantities of freight, and 
to perform other related functions such as 
staging troops, storing supplies, and operat- 
ing shore facilities and floating equipment. 
The confusion which had developed in con- 
nection with the embarkation of troops to 
Cuba in the Spanish-American War was 
recalled and the necessity of avoiding a 
repetition of that unhappy situation was 
recognized. Accordingly, early in July 1917 
primary ports of embarkation were estab- 
lished at New York (Hoboken) and New- 
port News, each under the command of a 
general officer. The Army Transport Serv- 
ice superintendents at those ports were 
placed under the jurisdiction of the port 
commanders. Also, the authority of the 
Water Transportation Branch in the Office 
of the Quartermaster General regarding 
ship operations "was somewhat subordinate 
to that of the commanding generals of the 
ports." 2 

During the early summer of 1917 the un- 
regulated movement of troops and supplies 
into the port areas greatly added to the 
problems of the port commanders. Need for 
co-ordination between the shippers and the 
ports and among the ports themselves be- 
came urgent. This situation led to the estab- 

2 Ibid., p. 117. The ports of embarkation at New 
York and Newport News handled the bulk of the 
troops and supplies moved to Europe, but other At- 
lantic and Gulf ports were used to a lesser extent. 
See Report of the Chief of Transportation Service, 
1919, pp. 32-34. San Francisco Port of Embarkation 
handled the relatively small movements to Hawaii, 
Alaska, and the Philippines. 



lishment of an Embarkation Service in the 
Office of the Chief of Staff in August. In 
addition to responsibility for regulating the 
movement of traffic to the ports and its 
transshipment overseas, the Embarkation 
Service was given supervision of the opera- 
tion of the Army's port facilities and the 
operation and assignment of Army trans- 
ports. The Quartermaster General's Water 
Transportation Branch became subordinate 
to this new unit in the Office of the Chief 
of Staff. 

As a first step in the effort to effectively 
control the flow of supplies to the ports of 
embarkation, the shipping officers of the 
Army's supply bureaus were required, be- 
ginning in September 1917, to obtain trans- 
portation "releases" from the port com- 
manders before starting such shipments. In 
November 1917 the plan was changed, and 
thereafter releases were issued by the Em- 
barkation Service, which was in a better 
position to understand the over-all rail 
transportation situation and the relative 
fluidity of the several ports. This control 
failed, however, because there was no ma- 
chinery for holding at points of origin ship- 
ments which had not been released, and in 
the absence of such machinery the release 
requirement frequently was disregarded by 
shipping officers. 

In a further effort to improve port op- 
erations and the utilization of shipping, the 
Secretary- of War established the War Board 
of the Port of New York in November 1917. 
This board, which functioned under the 
guidance of an experienced shipping man 
who served as civilian executive officer, was 
vested with authority to make regulations 
for the operation of the facilities of the port, 
to determine priorities in the use of such 
facilities, and to do whatever else might be 
considered necessary to assure the prompt 

dispatch of War Department traffic. 3 But 
the shipping problem involved much more 
than the operation of a single port. Because 
of the growing military requirements, other 
ports were being used increasingly. The 
critical shortage of bottoms necessitated a 
judicious withdrawal of ships from trade 
routes and a greater co-ordination between 
the United States and the Allies in regard 
to the employment of vessels. Accordingly, a 
Shipping Control Committee was appointed 
in February 1918, by concurrent action of 
the Secretary of W ar and the United States 
Shipping Board, with broad authority over 
all merchant shipping operations of the 
United States. This committee, which con- 
sisted of three civilians, one British and two 
American, was responsible for the allocation 
of shipping to the various uses, the distribu- 
tion of traffic among the several ports, the 
efficient utilization of ships and port facili- 
ties, and the exchange of ships and shipping 
space between allied nations. Insofar as the 
committee's activities related to the port 
operations and vessels of the Army, it 
worked in close co-ordination with the Em- 
barkation Service in the Office of the Chief 
of Staff and the Army Transport Service 
superintendents at the ports. 4 

The need for greater co-operation among 
the American railroads was apparent be- 
fore the United States entered World War 
I, and steps in that direction were initiated 
by committees established by the carriers. 
Immediately after the declaration of war a 
Railway War Board was appointed by the 
American Railway Association. Although 
composed principally of railway executives, 

3 Report of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, 1918, 
pp. 7, 8. 

4 See Ltr, SW to Shipping Contl Com, 7 Feb 18, 
and proceedings of U.S. Shipping Board, 1 1 Feb 18, 
OCT HB Topic Traf Contl WW I; see also WD 
GO 14, 9 Feb 18. 



the board included representatives of the 
six territorial departments of the Army, and 
agents of the board were stationed at each 
territorial department headquarters and at 
each mobilization camp and other impor- 
tant military station. The board undertook 
to supervise the operations of the railroads 
insofar as military movements were con- 
cerned, to co-ordinate carriers operating in 
the same territories, and to regulate car sup- 
ply. With the approval of the War Depart- 
ment, the board issued instructions to the 
railroads regarding methods of handling 
troops and supplies. A subcommittee was 
appointed by the board to deal especially 
with troop transportation and to co-operate 
with the War Department in establishing 
routes and expediting movements. 5 

Although the Railway War Board per- 
formed a valuable service, the steadily in- 
creasing production of war materiel by 
American industry and the unregulated 
flow of freight to the ports brought greater 
and greater traffic congestion and resulted 
in an increasing number of freight cars be- 
ing immobilized because they could not be 
unloaded. In December 1917 the United 
States Railroad Administration was estab- 
lished and the federal government assumed 
control of the carriers in an effort to im- 
prove the transportation situation through- 
out the country. Soon thereafter the War 
Department created an Inland Transporta- 
tion Division in the Office of the Chief of 
Staff, the director of which had jurisdiction 
over all inland transportation of Army sup- 
plies and troops, and served as chairman of 
a War Department Priorities Committee 
which was established concurrently. Around 
these new organizations a more effective sys- 
tem for controlling the movement of traffic 

5 Crowell and Wilson, The Road to France, pp. 

was built. Beginning 1 March 1918, ship- 
pers of War Department freight, whether 
for domestic or oversea destinations, were 
required to obtain releases from the Inland 
Transportation Division in addition to the 
releases obtained from the Embarkation 
Service for oversea shipments, and the 
freight agents of the carriers were instructed 
by the Railroad Administration not to ac- 
cept shipments until such releases had been 
issued. From that date the traffic situation 
began to improve. 6 

A broad influence over the flow of traffic 
to the ports was exercised by the Exports 
Control Committee, which was established 
in June 1918. The committee's membership 
included representatives of the Army, the 
Navy, the Railroad Administration, the 
Shipping Control Committee, and the 
British Ministry of Shipping. It met weekly, 
and on the basis of information assembled 
by its staff it undertook to determine the 
amount of military freight to be exported, 
the most advantageous routing for such 
freight, the amount of other essential ex- 
port traffic to be handled, and the total 
amount of traffic to be passed through each 
port. It effected a close liaison with all 
government agencies utilizing inland and 
ocean transportation, and with the rail- 
roads. The determinations of the Exports 
Control Committee were given effect by the 
several agencies from w r hich its membership 
was drawn. 7 

The establishment of first the Embarka- 
tion Service and then the Inland Transpor- 
tation Division in the Office of the Chief of 
Staff, with the functions indicated above, 
meant that the Water Transportation 

s The passing of the unusually severe weather 
which characterized the winter of 1917—18 contrib- 
uted to this improvement. 

7 Exports Control Committee, Annual Report, 
1918, OCT HB Topic Traf Contl WW I. 



Branch and the Inland Transportation 
Branch in the Office of the Quartermaster 
General were relieved of many of their 
responsibilities. By June 1918 the absorp- 
tion of transportation functions by the Gen- 
eral Staff had gone so far that The Quarter- 
master General's Transportation Division 
was ordered abolished. At that time the 
Embarkation Service and the Inland Traffic 
Service (new name for the Inland Trans- 
portation Division) functioned as subdivi- 
sions of the Purchase, Storage and Traffic 
Division of the General Staff. 8 They con- 
tinued in that relationship until March 
1919, four months after the Armistice, when 
they were consolidated into a single trans- 
portation organization, designated the 
Transportation Service, which was to func- 
tion outside the General Staff but under its 
broad supervision. This development was 
in line with the policy then in effect to divest 
the General Staff of the operating responsi- 
bilities which it had assumed during the 

Integration of transportation activities at 
field installations was effected in April 1919. 
At that time each territorial department, 
procurement zone, post, camp, and station 
was required to consolidate under a single 
transportation officer all transportation ac- 
tivities except those pertaining to the Motor 
Transport Corps, which was concerned pri- 
marily with organic motor equipment and 
personnel. Eventually such a transportation 
officer was detailed by the commander of 
each military station and each tactical unit 

8 The Purchase, Storage and Traffic Division was 
the end product of a series of reorganizations in the 
General Staff which resulted in more and more re- 
sponsibility being taken over from the supply bu- 
reaus. In defense of this development the Chief of 
Staff said : "Under the existing conditions ... no 
other alternative existed if the military program as 
a whole were to be carried out . , ." Report of the 
Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, 1919, p. 23. 

(division or larger). The duties of this 
officer were those imposed upon the Trans- 
portation Service insofar as they applied to 
his particular station, and he was directed 
to be guided by regulations promulgated by 
the Chief of Transportation Service. The 
transportation officers at stations which 
were under the jurisdiction of Army de- 
partments were responsible directly to the 
departmental commanders. The transpor- 
tation officers at stations exempted from the 
jurisdiction of the departmental command- 
ers, except those at ports of embarkation, 
were supervised by zone transportation of- 
ficers designated by the Chief of Trans- 
portation Service. The ports of embarkation 
continued to be responsible directly to the 
Chief of Transportation Service." 

During the latter part of World War I 
the Navy operated all of the troop transports 
and many of the cargo vessels which were 
in the service of the Army. At the outbreak 
of hostilities the Army had planned to op- 
erate such vessels with civilian crews as was 
its practice in peacetime; but the fact that 
the Navy was responsible for organizing and 
protecting convoys, together with the diffi- 
culty of obtaining civilian crews because of 
the limited amount of merchant shipping 
under the United States flag at that time, 
soon necessitated a reconsideration of the 
question. In July 1917 an agreement be- 
tween the Army and the Navy placed all 
troopships under the operation of the lat- 
ter. This arrangement was extended later 
to cover animal transports and cargo vessels, 
with certain exceptions. Some of the ex- 
cepted vessels were operated under the con- 
trol of the Army Embarkation Service and 

n Report of the Chief of Transportation Service, 
1920, pp. 5-7. Regarding establishment of MTG 
in August 1918, see Report of the Chief of Staff, 
U.S. Army, 1919, p. 191. 



some under the control of the U.S. Ship- 
ping Board. Early in 1918 the Navy and the 
Shipping Board entered into an agreement 
which further enlarged the Navy's operat- 
ing responsibilities. On 11 November 1918 
the Navy's Cruiser and Transport Force 
included 42 troopships and 25 cruisers and 
battleships (the latter carrying troops in 
addition to serving as escorts), and the 
Navy's Overseas Transportation Service was 
operating or had taken over for operation 
453 cargo vessels, of which 213 were en- 
gaged exclusively in carrying supplies to 
the American Expeditionary Forces in 
France. 1 " 

With the American Expeditionary Forces, 
as in the zone of interior, the handling 
of transportation matters suffered in the 
beginning from an almost total lack of ad- 
vance planning, and then from the numer- 
ous organizational and procedural adjust- 
ments which were made while war was in 
progress. When American troops and sup- 
plies began arriving in France, the Quarter- 
master Corps took charge of Army Trans- 
port Service operations at French ports. 
Procurement, operation, and maintenance 
of motor transport were distributed among 
the several supply services, the Quarter- 
master Corps having the larger responsi- 
bility. Railway construction, operation, and 
maintenance were placed in charge of the 
Chief Engineer by GHQ, American Ex- 
peditionary Forces. The latter arrangement 
was considered a temporary expedient to 
meet the pressing need while a thorough 

10 Crowell and Wilson, The Road to France, 
XXVIII, XXX, App. F ; Vice Adm Albert Gleaves, 
USN, History of the Transport Service (New York, 
1921), p. 27. On 1 Nov 18 the transatlantic fleet 
serving the Army included 512 vessels aggregating 
3,251,000 DWT, and the cross-Channel fleet num- 
bered 104 vessels of 311,000 DWT, according to 
Report of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, 1919, 
p. 156. 

study of the general supply and transporta- 
tion problem was being made. 11 

From the summer of 1917 to the end of 
hostilities the machinery for the administra- 
tion of transportation in the American Ex- 
peditionary Forces went through a series of 
rapid changes, some of which were of major 
proportions. By the end of 1917 railway op- 
erations and marine operations had been 
brought under the control of a Transporta- 
tion Service. Railway construction, and to 
a considerable extent railway maintenance, 
remained in the hands of the Chief En- 
gineer. On 12 November 1918, the day 
after the Armistice, the Transportation 
Service became the Transportation Corps, 
with slightly increased authoritv in the rail 
field. Neither the Transportation Service 
nor the Transportation Corps was respon- 
sible for motor transport, which was placed 
for a time under the control of the Quarter- 
master Corps and then under the newly cre- 
ated Motor Transport Corps. 12 All of these 
activities were subordinate to a general sup- 
ply service, which at first was known as 
Services of the Rear and later as Services of 

Aside from the lack of advance planning 
and the confusion attendant upon the many 
changes which preceded the attainment of 
a satisfactory organization, numerous other 
problems beset the Army Transportation 
Service in France. There were misunder- 
standings with the Quartermaster Corps and 
the Corps of Engineers, the organizations 

11 Statements regarding transportation arrange- 
ments in the AEF are based largely upon Monograph 
7, Organization of the Services of Supply, Army 
Expeditionary Forces, HB, WPDGS, Washington, 
Jun 21; a more detailed and personal account is 
given by Brig Gen Johnson Hagood, CofS SOS AEF, 
in The Services of Supply (Boston, 1927). 

12 Regarding motor transport see Final Report of 
General John J. Pershing (Washington, 1919), p. 
74, and Hagood, The Services of Supply, p. 343. 



from which the new service had drawn its 
principal functions. Railroad officials with 
the Transportation Service found it un- 
satisfactory to have railroad construction 
work under the control of a separate agency, 
the Office of the Chief Engineer. 13 The 
difficulty of getting trained personnel from 
the United States was great, and despite an 
authorized strength of 6,000 officers and 
200,000 enlisted men to serve an Army 
which might reach 4,000,000, the actual 
strength of the Transportation Service at 
the time of the Armistice was only 1,810 
officers and 46,976 enlisted men. 14 Differ- 
ences in language and technical terms com- 
plicated the problem of co-operation with 
French transportation personnel. Differ- 
ences between American and French railway 
equipment and methods gave rise to delays 
and accidents. The relationship of the 
central transportation organization to the 
commanders of base and intermediate sec- 
tions and to the regulating and railhead 
officers in the advance section was never 
satisfactorily worked out, and the complete 
jurisdiction of local commanders over train 
and car movements within their respective 
jurisdictions made the task of over-all 
management extremely difficult. 15 

From the foregoing review it is apparent 
that although considerable progress was 

ls William J. Wilgus, Transporting the AEF in 
Western Europe, 1917-1919 (New York, 1931), 
pp. 144, 151, 160. Colonel Wilgus, experienced 
American railway executive, served in France as Di- 
rector of Military Railways and as deputy to Brig. 
Gen. W. W. Atterbury, Director General of Trans- 
portation. He wrote in detail regarding his ex- 
periences and expressed himself feelingly about the 
unpreparedness of the AEF for the transportation 
task which confronted it and the hardships resulting 
from the eight reorganizations which were necessary. 

14 Organization of the Services of Supply, Amer- 
ican Expeditionary Forces, p. 89 ; cf . Wilgus, Trans- 
porting the AEF, p. 201. 

13 See Wilgus, Transporting the AEF, pp. 549-60. 

made during and immediately after the war 
toward bringing the various types of Army 
transportation under the control of a single 
office, complete integration was not 
achieved either in the zone of interior or 
with the American Expeditionary Forces in 
France. In his 1919 report to the Secretary 
of War, Brig. Gen. Frank T. Hines, Chief 
of Transportation Service, emphasized the 
advantages of such integration and recom- 
mended the establishment of a transporta- 
tion corps "with complete jurisdiction over 
all matters of transportation for all branches 
of the War Department." u ' This recom- 
mendation was only partially heeded, for a 
plan "for the reorganization of the Army in 
the light of the experience that has crystal- 
lized out of the war," submitted to the 
Secretary of War by the Chief of Staff, 
provided for both a transportation corps 
and a motor transport corps. 17 

Bills to carry this plan into effect, includ- 
ing the transportation features, were intro- 
duced in the House of Representatives and 
the Senate during August 1919. The hear- 
ings on these bills, however, disclosed a 
lack of unanimity regarding Army transpor- 
tation, even among representatives of the 
War Department, and neither was reported 
out of committee. A further measure, which 
included provision for a transportation 
corps with jurisdiction over all forms of 
transport, was introduced in the House of 
Representatives, but it was not given a hear- 
ing and died in committee. These measures 
having failed, a bill was introduced in 
February 1920 which provided for the re- 
turn of transportation to the control of The 
Quartermaster General. Debate on this 

16 Report of the Chief of Transportation Service, 
1919, p. 186. 

17 Report of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, 1919, 
pp. 248, 252. 



measure disclosed a preponderance of 
opinion in favor of such an arrangement, 
economy being one of the chief arguments. 
Attempts to amend the bill to provide for 
a transportation corps failed. 18 

Accordingly, the Army Reorganization 
Act of 1920 placed transportation for the 
War Department, except military railways, 
under the jurisdiction of The Quartermaster 
General. 19 The War Department directive 
to implement this law stated, "the Trans- 
portation Service shall be organized and 
operated as a separate service of the 
Quartermaster Corps and shall be charged 
with transportation of the Army by land 
and water, including transportation of 
troops and supplies by mechanical or animal 
means, and with the furnishing of means of 
transportation of all classes and kinds 
required by the Army." 20 The Transporta- 
tion Service, as established within the 
Quartermaster Corps, included divisions to 
deal respectively with animal transport, 
motor transport, rail transport, water trans- 
port, and war planning. 21 

Thus it appears that although World 
War I had demonstrated, at least to those 
directly concerned, the need for an in- 
dependent and integrated transportation 
service during hostilities, it had not made 
clear, certainly not to Congress, the advis- 
ability of maintaining such a service during 
peacetime as a measure of preparedness. 
Instead of establishing transportation as 
an independent service, the Army Re- 
organization Act of 1920 again made it one 
of the several responsibilities of The 
Quartermaster General. Instead of com- 

18 See OCT HB Monograph 4, pp. 16-22, for dis- 
cussion of these measures and hearings. 

19 PL 242, 4 Jun 20. 

20 WD GO 42, 14 Jul 20. 

21 OQMG Cir 11, 28 Jul 20; OQMG Office Or- 
der 119, 30 Aug 21. 

pletely integrating the control of Army 
transportation under one head, it made the 
construction, maintenance, and operation 
of military railways a responsibility of the 
Chief of Engineers, as it had been before 
the war. 22 On the other hand, motor trans- 
port was brought into the Transportation 
Service, and the need for advance planning 
for war was recognized in the organization 
of the Transportation Service. 

Developments Preceding Pearl Harbor 

Not only did World War I fail to bring 
about the independence and integration of 
Army transportation which the Chief of 
Transportation Service had hoped for, but 
much of the gain which had been crystal- 
lized in the organization which followed 
the passage of the Army Reorganization 
Act of 1920 was lost between the wars. 2S 
The optimism which prevailed regarding 
the continuance of peace, together with the 
limited appropriations forthcoming from 
Congress, had this effect. Operations be- 
came routine and planning for war lost 
its urgency. The Transportation Service 
gave way to a Transportation Division in 
the Office of the Quartermaster General. 
On the eve of World War II that division 
included a Commercial Traffic Branch 
which was responsible for controlling and 
co-ordinating all War Department traffic 
by commercial carriers; a Water Transport 
Branch which was responsible for traffic 

22 See Benedict Crowell and Robert F. Wilson, 
The Armies of Industry (New Haven, 1921), 
XXVI; AR 100-50, 6 Jun 23. 

23 For review of 1920-39 developments, see OCT 
HB Monograph 4, pp. 24-31 ; Monograph 5, pp. 22- 
26; Monograph 6, pp. 15—52. Of special interest in 
the latter is discussion of relations with Federal 
Traffic Board and Coordinator for Traffic (pp. 18— 
20, 43—46), and transportation provisions of the 
several industrial mobilization plans (pp. 33—38). 

PEACETIME PORTS OF EMBARKATION. The pier and warehouse facilities at 
Fort Mason, San Francisco (top) and the Brooklyn Army Base, New York (bottom) 
were adequate for Army shipping operations between the wars. 



by Army transports, the scheduling of the 
transports, supervision of the operation of 
transports and ports of embarkation, and 
the procurement and assignment of trans- 
ports and harbor boats; and a Motor 
Transport Branch which was responsible 
for the development, design, procurement, 
maintenance, storage, and issue of wheeled 
motor vehicles. 24 The Quartermaster Gen- 
eral also was responsible for the organiza- 
tion and training of troop units for the op- 
eration of ports and motor vehicles. 

The outbreak of hostilities in Europe and 
the launching of a rearmament program in 
the United States impelled numerous 
changes in this organization. In view of 
the tremendous increase in the motor 
vehicle procurement program, the Motor 
Transport Branch was withdrawn from the 
Transportation Division and set up as a co- 
ordinate division in July 1940. 25 Otherwise, 
the developments in the Transportation 
Division were in the nature of expansion or 
in the interest of efficiency. The Commercial 
Traffic Branch relinquished to the Water 
Transport Branch control over the booking 
of passengers and freight on commercial 
vessels, in order that all dealings with the 
steamship lines might be concentrated in 
one office. Because of the growing number 
of Army transports and the increasing 
demand for harbor boats, a Marine Design, 
Construction, and Procurement Branch was 
established to perform functions which pre- 
viously had been assigned to the Water 
Transport Branch. A Traffic Control 
Branch was set up to co-ordinate and ex- 

24 OQMG Office Order 4, 7 Jan 37. 

25 OQMG Office Order 49, 26 Jul 40. Design 
and procurement of motor vehicles was transferred 
from QMC to OD by WD Cir 245, Sec. IV, 25 Jul 
42. Staff and technical responsibilities for truck 
operating troop units remained with QMC until 
transferred to TC by WD GO 77, 24 Jul 46. 

pedite land and water movements and to 
plan for such further control of shipments 
as might become necessary. A Research and 
Review Branch was instituted to handle 
legal and intelligence matters. An Adminis- 
trative Branch was introduced to relieve the 
other branches of certain responsibilities 
relating to personnel, finance, statistics, and 
planning. 21 ' Within the branches, new sec- 
tions and units were created to deal more 
effectively with the enlarged responsibili- 
ties and the more complex problems. 27 In 
January 1941 The Quartermaster General 
appointed a Transportation Advisory 
Group, consisting of leading executives from 
the fields of steamship, railway, motor truck, 
motor bus, inland waterway, and air trans- 
portation, and of warehousing, to advise on 
problems confronting his Transportation 
Division and to submit suggestions for the 
improvement of its operations. 2S 

During the 1939—41 period the Trans- 
portation Division functioned under a suc- 
cession of chiefs, namely, Brig. Gen. 
Richard H. Jordan, who served until July 
1940; Col, Douglas C. Cordiner, who 
served from August 1940 to March 1941; 
and Col. (later Brig. Gen.) Theodore H. 
Dillon, who served from March 1941 until 
transportation was removed from the con- 
trol of The Quartermaster General a year 

Staff supervision over transportation was 
exercised during this period by the Supply 
Division (G— 4) of the War Department 

2fi The organization set forth in Trans Div Office 
Memo 45, 1 Jul 41, remained in effect without sub- 
stantial change to Mar 42. OCT HB OQMG Trans 
Div Gen. 

27 See OCT HB Monograph 5, pp. 27-36, and 
Monograph 6, pp. 71—80. 

28 See remarks of QMG in minutes of initial meet- 
ing of the group, 9 Jan 41, OCT HB OQMG Trans 
Adv Group; OCT HB Monograph 1 reviews work 
of group. 



General Staff. At the beginning of the pre- 
war emergency this supervision was rela- 
tively light, and was handled by one officer, 
Maj. Frank S. Ross, who with a secretary 
constituted the Transportation Section of 
the Supply and Transportation Branch, 
G— 4. Since Ross's experience was mainly 
with water and rail transportation, in 
October 1940 an expert in motor transport 
was added. A reorganization which took 
place in G— 4 in December 1940 assigned 
the Transportation Section to the Require- 
ments and Distribution Branch but left its 
functions unchanged. Those functions were 
to aid the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, in 
the fulfillment of his responsibilities for 
"the preparation of plans and policies and 
the supervision of activities concerning . . . 
transportation by land and water, includ- 
ing ports of embarkation and their neces- 
sary auxiliaries," and "traffic control." " 9 

As the emergency advanced and trans- 
portation problems became more acute, the 
supervision exercised by the Transportation 
Section, G— 4, became closer. Early in April 
1941 Lt. Col. Charles P. Gross was 
designated chief of the section, and Ross 
became his executive. 30 Later in the same 
month, upon recommendation of its chief, 
the section was elevated to the status of a 
branch, and a program for increasing its 
personnel and expanding its activities was 
launched. 31 By October 1941 sections had 
been established to deal respectively with 
rail, water, and motor transportation, to co- 
ordinate lend-lease (defense aid) move- 

29 AR 10-15, Sec. I, par. 11c, 18 Aug 36. 

30 Col Gross and Col Ross remained with Army 
transportation throughout the war, the former be- 
coming CofT ASF and the latter CofT ETOUSA, 
each attaining the rank of Maj Gen. 

31 Memo, C of Trans Br for Exec Off G-4 (Mal- 
lon), 5 Apr 41, OCT HB G-4 Trans Br Gen. 

ments, and to do long-range planning. 32 

The Assistant Secretary of War, and the 
Under Secretary of War after the establish- 
ment of his office in December 1940, also 
took a hand in planning for Army transpor- 
tation. They considered this activity inci- 
dental to their responsibility for supervision 
of the procurement of military supplies. In 
October 1940 the chief of the Contributory 
Division in the Office of the Assistant Sec- 
retary listed among the division's functions 
the assembling of War Department views 
and requirements regarding shipping, trans- 
portation, and port organization, and the 
preparation of recommendations. 33 In 
August 1941 the Contributory Division, 
then a unit of the Office of the Under Sec- 
retary, was renamed Liaison Division, and 
its field of interest was described as includ- 
ing transportation by railway, truck, water, 
pipeline, and air. 34 The Contributory Divi- 
sion and the Liaison Division maintained 
close contact with the Transportation 
Branch of G— 4 and The Quartermaster 
General's Transportation Division, and took 
an especially active interest in port condi- 
tions and in the provision of port facilities 
adequate to handle Army traffic. 35 

As the Army's transportation operations 
expanded, the various elements of the War 
Department concerned with such activities 
had occasion to consult more and more with 

32 G-4 Org Chart, 20 Oct 41, OCT HB G-4 
Trans Br Gen. 

33 Mtmo, C of Contributory Div for Dir of Ping 
Br OASW, 14 Oct 40, USW Ping Br 114.7 Con- 
tributory Div. 

34 Memo, C of Ping Br for G of Liaison Div, 21 
Aug 41, USW Ping Br 114.7 Liaison Div. 

35 Memo, C of Contributory Div for Dir of Ping 
Br, 16 Apr 41, sub: Proposed Sale and Lease of 
Hoboken Terminal, OCT HB Topic New York Ho- 
boken Terminal ; Ltr, C of Contributory Div to Port 
of NY Authority, 12 Mar 41, OCT HB New York 
Port Ping and Contl of Trans. 



the other federal agencies which were 
interested in the same field. The Interstate 
Commerce Commission, functioning since 
1887 as a regulatory body for the rates and 
services of domestic carriers, except air, was 
equipped with and prepared to exercise 
broader powers than it had possessed in 
19 1?."' The Maritime Commission, estab- 
lished under the Merchant Marine Act of 
1936 to foster the development of a mer- 
chant fleet adequate to carry a substantial 
part of the water-borne commerce of the 
United States and to serve military needs 
in time of war or national emergency, 
played an increasingly active role in con- 
nection with both the construction and the 
operation of ships. The Civil Aeronautics 
Administration, established pursuant to the 
Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 and subse- 
quent legislation to foster the development 
of air commerce and aeronautical facilities, 
was confronted with the difficult task of 
adjusting the civil air services to meet mili- 
tary requirements. The Transportation 
Commissioner, a member of the Advisory 
Commission to the Council of National 
Defense which was established by the Presi- 
dent in May 1940, undertook through con- 
sultative and advisory methods to aid the 
domestic carriers in handling the increasing 
load which they were called upon to lift 
and to provide for contingencies. The Divi- 
sion of Defense Aid Reports, concerned with 
the administration of the Lend-Lease Act 
of March 1941, had many transportation 
interests in common with the War Depart- 
ment. 37 

A number of jurisdictional problems 
came to the fore during the emergency 
period, including the question of responsi- 
bility for liaison with other federal agencies. 
These problems were the natural conse- 
quence of concurrent activities in regard to 
transportation on the part of the Assistant 
Secretary of War (later the Under Secre- 
tary), G— 4 of the General Staff, and The 
Quartermaster General. They were en- 
couraged by lack of explicitness in some of 
the Army regulations. 

The problem of jurisdiction came up first 
in the fall of 1939 when The Quartermaster 
General and the commander of the New 
York Port of Embarkation differed regard- 
ing their respective responsibilities for the 
scheduling and operation of the Army 
transports. The port commander recom- 
mended that the pertinent Army regulation 
(AR 30-1110) be amended to strengthen 
his position, but G— 4 refused concurrence 
on the ground that The Quartermaster 
General was in the better position to know 
the over-all requirements of the Army for 
troop and supply movements, and that his 
technical direction of the port installations 
should parallel that exercised over field 
installations of the Corps of Engineers and 
the Signal Corps by the chiefs of those 
services. 38 Soon thereafter, on suggestion of 
the Chief of Staff, consideration was given 
to the feasibility of placing the port com- 
manders under the respective corps area 
commanders, but such decentralization of 
control was opposed by both The Quarter- 
master General and G— 4, and no further 

38 Memo, C of Supply and Trans Br G— 4 for 
30 Interstate Commerce Commission, 53d Annual ACofS G-4 (Tyner), 21 Dec 39, sub: Jurisdiction 

Report (Washington, November 1, 1939) pp. 22-23. over ATS; Ltr, TAG to CG NYPE, 2 Jan 40, sub: 
37 See Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Lend-Lease: Command Functions of CG NYPE, AG 370.5 (10- 

Weapon for Victory (New York, 1944), pp. 95-96. * 11-39). Both in G-4/29717-35. 



steps were taken in that direction. S9 The 
question was again discussed after com- 
plaints had arisen regarding the handling 
of troop movements at the ports. A new 
regulation was issued toward the close of 

1940, but its provision that the ports of 
embarkation would be operated "directly 
under the War Department" was lacking 
in definiteness. 4 " 

Another jurisdictional question of in- 
creasing importance related to the dividing 
line between the transportation responsibili- 
ties of the General Staff and those of The 
Quartermaster General. The intensification 
of the supervision and control exercised by 
the Transportation Branch of G— 4, particu- 
larly after April 1941, substantially affected 
the operations of The Quartermaster Gen- 
eral, and there were misunderstandings and 
delays. Various suggestions were offered for 
revision and clarification of the pertinent 
regulations (AR 30-5 and AR 30-905), 
but agreement was not readily obtained 
and the confusion continued until after our 
entry into the war. 41 

The steady extension of control by the 
Transportation Branch of G— 4 is illustrated 
by the growth of its liaison activities. After 
an important conference with officials of 
the Maritime Commission in February 

1941, in which representatives of the Under 

39 Memo within G-4 (Strong for Keyes), 19 Apr 
40., sub: Ports of Emb, G-4/31685; Memo, QMG 
for ACofS G-4, 26 Aug 40, QM 323.91A, 
G-4/31946; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 28 
Aug 40, sub: Gontl of Ports, G-4/31946. 

40 DF, G-4 to TAG and QMG, 6 Sep 40, sub: 
AR Governing Ports, AG 323.341 (9-6-40) (1); 
AR 270-5, 30 Nov 40, par. 2. 

41 Memo, C of Trans Sec (Ross) for C of Req 
and Dist Br G— 4 (Aurand), 23 Jan 41, sub: Respon- 
sibility of QMG and GS in Trans Matters; Memo, 
ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 10 Mar 41; Memo, 
ACofS G-3 for ACofS G-l, 2 Apr 41; Memo, 
ACofS G-l for CofS USA, 9 Apr 41. All in 

Secretary of War, the Transportation 
Branch of G— 4, and The Quartermaster 
General participated, the. Assistant Chief of 
Staff, G— 4, arranged that thereafter a 
representative of his Transportation Branch 
should conduct all negotiations with the 
Maritime Commission. 42 An officer of the 
Transportation Branch was designated to 
maintain liaison with the Highway Traffic 
Advisory Committee which was set up by 
the Secretary of War early in 1941. 43 When 
the Secretary of War appointed a represen- 
tative of the Under Secretary to confer with 
the Transportation Commissioner regarding 
port operations, the Chief of the Trans- 
portation Branch immediately arranged to 
attend all such conferences. 44 In July 1941 
the Chief of the Transportation Branch was 
designated liaison officer for G— 4 with the 
Transportation Section of the Army and 
Navy Munitions Board. 4 ' Soon thereafter 
he was assigned War Department liaison on 
transportation matters with the Division of 
Defense Aid Reports, later known as the 
Lend-Lease Administration. 4n He or his 
alternate represented the War Department 
on the Cargo Clearance Committee and the 
Interdepartmental Shipping Priorities Ad- 
visory Committee, which were set up dur- 
ing the summer of 1941 by the Reconstruc- 
tion Finance Corporation and the Office 

42 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 3 Feb 41, 
sub: Additional Army Transports, G-4/297 1 7-26 ; 
Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 7 Mar 41, sub: 
Negotiations with Mar Com, G-4/ 29 71 7-26 ; Ltr, 
SW to Chm Mar Com, 5 Aug 41, G-4/297 17-80. 

43 Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 6 Feb 41, sub: 
WD Liaison for HTAG, G-4/32212, AG 537.4 
(1-30-41) HTAC. 

44 Ltr, SW to Trans Com, 9 Apr 41, with pencil 
notation by Col Gross on file copy, Trans Br 
G-4/ 3 34 (Port). 

45 Ltr, ACofS G-4 for Exec Secy ANMB, 21 Jul 
41, G-4/21901-29. 

46 Memo, ACofS G-4 for Dir Def Aid WDGS, 
11 Oct 41, G-4/32697-16. 



of Production Management, respectively, 
to consider the availability and the alloca- 
tion of shipping to carry the strategic im- 
ports in which those organizations had a 
vital interest. 47 

It became necessary on various occasions 
to protect the established transportation 
prerogatives, and The Quartermaster Gen- 
eral and G— 4 took a vigorous and successful 
stand against all tendencies toward diffu- 
sion. The several supply services of the War 
Department, in an effort to assure that their 
supplies, once they were ready for shipment, 
were moved without delay, established their 
own traffic staffs. 48 These staffs, concerned 
solely with the prompt delivery of their own 
shipments, sometimes were critical of The 
Quartermaster General's operations and 
believed that they could get better results 
by direct action. As regards inland traffic, 
the criticisms dealt chiefly with the require- 
ment that local transportation officers 
obtain routings for all shipments of two car- 
loads or more from The Quartermaster 
General. 40 As regards ocean traffic, there 
was an attempt on the part of the Corps of 
Engineers to obtain authority to act in- 
dependently of The Quartermaster General 
in arranging for the movement of construc- 
tion personnel and materials to the new 
oversea bases/'" Efforts were made during 
the summer of 1941 to obtain a degree of 
independence for the Air Corps in the 
handling of its traffic. 51 As already stated, 

47 See OCT HB Monograph 10, pp. 24-25; for 
further liaison activities see Memo, C of Trans Br 
G-4 for C of Ping Liaison Sec G-4, 4 Sep 41, sub: 
Bds and Corns, OCT HB G-4 Responsibilities. 

4,1 AR 30-905, pars. 2e and h, 1 Aug 29, placed 
limitations on such staffs. 

49 See OCT HB Monograph 6, pp. 1 17-22. 

511 Memo, ACofS G-4 for ACofS WPD, 3 Apr 41, 

51 Memo, Trans Br G— 4 for Ping Liaison Sec 
G-4, 23 Jul 41, sub: Transfer of Responsibilities to 
AAF, G-4/33163. 

these efforts toward di ;persion of control 
over Army traffic were forestalled. 

The steadily increasing transportation re- 
quirements of the Army necessitated not 
only increased administrative staffs in 
Washington but also additional field agen- 
cies. During the early part of the emergency 
period there were two Army ports of em- 
barkation in operation, at New York and 
San Francisco. By the time of our entry into 
the war an additional port of embarkation 
had been established at New Orleans, 
particularly to handle transports serving the 
Panama Canal Department, and subports 
had been set up at Charleston, S.C., and 
Seattle. During the late summer of 1941 
construction work was begun on two hold- 
ing and reconsignment points, located at 
Marietta, Pa., and Voorheesville, N.Y., 
which were designed to protect the North 
Atlantic ports from traffic congestion by 
supplying intransit storage into which Army 
and lend-lease supplies could be diverted 
pending the ability of the ports to receive 
them and load them promptly on ships. In 
October 1941 commercial traffic agencies 
were established in New York and Boston, 
particularly to keep the rapidly growing 
volume of lend-lease supplies moving 
smoothly through the ports and to prevent 
railway cars from being held unduly long 
under load. 52 

Several criteria may be cited to indicate 
the growth of Army transportation activity 
during the prewar emergency period. On 1 
July 1940 the Transportation Division in 
the Office of the Quartermaster General 
employed 6 officers and 95 civilians, a total 
of 101 persons. By 1 December 1941 the 

5 - Special OCT Rpt, Developments in Army- 
Transportation during the Period of Military Pre- 
paredness, June 1940-December 7, 1941, pp. 25- 
28, OCT HB TC Gen Rpts. 



staff had increased to 65 officers and 485 
civilians, a total of 550. On 1 July 1940 the 
overhead personnel at the ports of embarka- 
tion, the only field installations at that time, 
included 91 officers, 152 enlisted men, and 
2,826 civilians, a total of 3,069. By 1 
December 1941 the overhead personnel at 
ports of embarkation, holding arid recon- 
signment points, and commercial traffic 
agencies included 574 officers, 2,488 en- 
listed men, and 9,466 civilians, totaling 
12, 5 2 8. 53 During the same period the per- 
sonnel of the Transportation Section (later 
Branch) of G— 4 increased from 1 officer 
and 1 civilian to 18 officers and 12 civilians. 
On 1 January 1939 the Army Transport 
Service embraced 6 transports, all owned by 
the War Department. On 7 December 1941 
there were 127 owned and chartered troop 
and cargo vessels in the service of the 
Army. 51 The total funds obligated by The 
Quartermaster General's Commercial 
Traffic Branch, including salaries and all 
operating costs and transportation charges, 
increased from $3,882,000 for the fiscal 
year 1940 to $52,349,000 for the five and 
one-quarter month period, 1 July to 7 
December 1941. The funds obligated by the 
Water Transport Branch increased as be- 
tween these periods from $8,121,000 to 
$45,724,000. 55 

The Early Months of the War 

The first three months of the war brought 
about marked changes in the management 
of transportation. New agencies were set up 

53 Statistical Summary, Transportation Corps, 15 
Oct 42, p. 10, OCT HB MPR. 

54 1st Ind, Water Div OCT for Hist Off OCT 
(Watson for Wardlow), 5 Nov 42, SPTOW 
314.8-E, OCT HB OQMG Water Trans Br. 

05 Special OCT Rpt, Developments in Army 
Transportation during the Period of Military Pre- 
paredness, p. 2, OCT HB TC Gen Rpts. 

by the President to exercise more complete 
control over the employment of the nation's 
transportation resources. The Army's ma- 
chinery for handling its transportation re- 
quirements was completely reorganized. 
The relationships between the Army and the 
new civil transportation agencies were ten- 
tatively worked out. 

The heavy movements of men and sup- 
plies which became necessary immediately 
after the Japanese attack on our Pacific out- 
posts put the entire transportation system to 
a severe test. In some respects the demands 
of a two-ocean war were met promptly and 
efficiently. In other respects there were 
handicaps which could be overcome only 
gradually. In the former class was the rail 
movement of about 600,000 troops with 
their organizational equipment during the 
first five weeks of war. 56 The excellent work- 
ing relationships which had been established 
between The Quartermaster General's 
Commercial Traffic Branch and the As- 
sociation of American Railroads' Military 
Transportation Section paid ofT handsomely 
during this period. Allowing for minor 
delays due to lack of experience on the part 
of transportation officers with some of the 
troop units, inadequate loading facilities at 
certain camps, and the necessity of drawing 
railway equipment from distant areas to 
meet the requirements of large organizations 
moving out of western stations, the rail re- 
sults were gratifying. 57 The situation in re- 
gard to shipping and port operations was 
less propitious. There were not enough ves- 
sels available and many of those on hand 
had to be taken out of service temporarily 
for arming. The Atlantic coast ports were 
embarrassed by the large amount of lend- 

™ Biennial Rpt, CofS USA, 1943, p. 8. 
57 Ltr, Pres AAR to CofS USA, 30 Jan 42, 
G-4/33858; OCT HB Monograph 6, pp. 248-51. 

TROOP ENTRAINMENT soon after the Pearl Harbor attack. A unit leaving Camp 
Robinson, Ark., December 1941 (top). The unit's organic motor equipment being 
loaded for movement with the troops (bottom). 



lease freight which had to be transshipped 
in addition to military supplies. The Army's 
port of embarkation at San Francisco, al- 
though an expansion of facilities had been 
started a year earlier, was not prepared to 
handle smoothly the large movements of 
troops and materiel which were rushed to 
the Pacific bases. 58 

The President was deeply concerned lest 
we fail to achieve the most effective utiliza- 
tion of our inadequate shipping resources, 
and shortly after Pearl Harbor he an- 
nounced the creation of a Strategic Ship- 
ping Board, to act under his supervision. 
The board consisted of the Chairman of 
the Maritime Commission, the Army Chief 
of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, 
and Mr. Harry Hopkins. Its function was 
to establish policies for and plan the allo- 
cation of merchant shipping to meet mili- 
tary and civilian requirements and to co- 
ordinate the shipping activities of the 
agencies represented in its membership. The 
President stated that it was his intention to 
review the "recommendations" of the board 
with its members. 59 The Chief of the Trans- 
portation Branch, G— 4, was designated to 
represent the Chief of Staff on this board/ 

The effectiveness of the Strategic Ship- 
ping Board was limited because of differ- 
ences of opinion between the Army, the 
Navy, and the Maritime Commission re- 
garding the utilization of the merchant fleet 
and because of the absence of authority, 
short of the President, to resolve such dif- 

58 See OCT HB Monograph 5, pp. 168-73. 

59 Ltr, the President to SW, 8 Dec 41, AG 334.8 
Strategic Shipping Bd. Presumably Hopkins was to 
act as personal representative of the President in 
this as in so many other matters. 

60 Memo, Chm Mar Com for Harry Hopkins, 
17 Dec 41, AG 334.8 Strategic Shipping Bd. 

ferences. 61 Accordingly, steps were soon 
taken with a view to the establishment of 
an agency with broader powers over ship- 
ping than those possessed by the Maritime 
Commission. Such an agency was needed 
not only to insure the effective use of the 
American merchant marine for our own 
requirements, but also to enable the United 
States to enter into a co-operative shipping 
arrangement with Great Britain, which al- 
ready had placed all British-controlled mer- 
chant ships under the management of the 
Ministry of War Transport. 62 The result 
was the creation of a War Shipping Ad- 
ministration by executive order of the Presi- 
dent, issued 7 February 1942. 63 Although 
the authority vested in WSA exceeded that 
which the Army had contemplated, officers 
of G— 4 at once undertook to establish a 
working relationship with the new agency. 

The War Shipping Administrator, Rear 
Adm. Emory S. Land, suggested that the 
Strategic Shipping Board be used as a chan- 
nel for informing his office of the "joint 
objectives" of the Army and the Navy in 
regard to merchant shipping. The War 
Department, however, took the attitude 

61 Memo, CofS USA for WSA (Douglas), par. 
3, 8 Jan 43, AG 334.8 WSA; Memo, C of Trans 
Br G 4 for WPD (Gerow), 23 Dec 41; Memo, 
CofS USA to USN (Admiral Stark), 24 Dec. 41, 
sub: Sea Transportation; Memo, C of Trans Br 
G-4 for CofS USA, 26 Dec 41, sub: Strategic 
Shipping Bd — Independent Action by Navy; Memo, 
CofS USA for USN (Stark), 27 Dec 41. Last four 
in G-4/297 17-26. 

e - When establishment of CCS was being dis- 
cussed, Gen Marshall pointed out that U.S. could 
support the proposal only in principle, because cen- 
tralized control of U.S. shipping had not yet been 
accomplished. See Arcadia Proceedings, 10 Jan 42, 
p. 4. 

03 EO 9054. Fuller discussion of powers of WSA 
and the Army's p art in its establishment is re- 
served for |Ch. VI. | 



that the order establishing WSA contem- 
plated a direct relationship between that 
agency and the Army, and that in issuing 
it the President had abrogated his letter 
setting up the Strategic Shipping Board. 01 
Moreover, the functions to which the War 
Shipping Administrator referred fell natur- 
ally within the scope of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff organization which was being devel- 
oped at that time. The Strategic Shipping 
Board was not dissolved, but it functioned 
in a very limited way thereafter. 

The President also recognized the neces- 
sity of getting the maximum service out of 
domestic transportation facilities, and on 
18 December 1941 he established the Office 
of Defense Transportation, with broad 
powers to co-ordinate and regulate the rail- 
way, highway, and inland waterway car- 
riers/' 5 The Under Secretary of War pro- 
posed that representatives of both his office 
and G— 4 be appointed to maintain liaison 
with ODT. This dual representation wa- 
opposed by G— 4, and eventually it was ar- 
ranged that a single Army representative 
would be designated by the Assistant Chief 
of Staff, G-4 ; that the Office of the Under 
Secretary would co-ordinate its interest in 
transportation matters through that repre- 
sentative; and that a member of the Office 
of the Under Secretary might accompany 
the War Department representative to 
meetings convened by the Director of De- 
fense Transportation, in order to be in- 
formed regarding proposed policies and pro- 
cedures that might affect the responsibilities 
of the Under Secretary. The Chief of the 
Transportation Branch, G— 4, was desig- 

04 Ltr, WSA to SW and SN, 3 Mar 42, sub: 
Allocation or Requisition of Ships; Ltr, CG SOS 
to WSA, 9 Mar 42, G-4/2971 7-26. Both in OCT 
HB Topic Strategic Shipping Bd. 

65 EO 8989. 

nated War Department liaison officer with 
ODT. <i6 

The Chief of the Transportation Branch, 
Colonel Gross, arranged for an early con- 
ference with the Director of Defense Trans- 
portation, Mr, Joseph B. Eastman, during 
which he explained the Army's transporta- 
tion machinery and procedures, expressed 
the hope that "the operation of his office 
(ODT) would not be too restrictive," and 
emphasized the need for priority in the 
movement of troops and war equipment. 07 
Gross was favorably impressed with East- 
man's attitude on these matters. He kept a 
wary eye, however, on the development of 
ODT activities during this formative pe- 
riod. When the ODT Director of Storage re- 
quested information regarding the materials 
being used in the construction of ware- 
houses at Army holding and reconsignment 
points, Gross expressed the view that he was 
"getting way beyond his proper province." 
The information was furnished, however, 
when ODT explained that it was desired 
only in connection with a study of the 
length of the rail haul for lumber used in 
the construction of such facilities. 68 A re- 
quest from the ODT Director of Railway 
Transport for information regarding the 
rumored acquisition by the Army of certain 
water-front property at Norfolk elicited 
from the Transportation Branch, G— 4, the 
statement that all such acquisitions were 
cleared in advance with the Ocean Ship- 
ping Section of the Army and Navy Muni- 
tions Board, and an inquiry to determine 

66 Memo, USW for SW, 29 Dec 41 ; Memo, ACofS 
G-4 for USW, 12 Jan 42; Ltr, SW to Dir Def 
Trans, 21 Jan 42. All in G-4/33932. 

67 Memo, C of Trans Br for ACofS G-4, 29 Dec 
41, OCT HB Gross Day File. 

68 Ltr, C of Trans Br G-4 to ODT, 1 2 Feb 42 ; 
Ltr, ODT to C of Trans Br G-4, 16 Feb 42; Ltr, 
DC of Trans Br G-4 to ODT, 17 Feb 42. All in 
Trans Br G-4/000.900 ODT. 



how far ODT expected to interest itself in 
such matters. The ODT response indicated 
that its interest was in facilities or equip- 
ment to be acquired from operating rail- 
roads, and arrangements then were made 
to supply the desired data. 60 While guarding 
against ODT encroachment on what were 
considered strictly Army prerogatives, Gross 
demonstrated during these early weeks his 
readiness to co-operate with ODT in mat- 
ters of national interest, such as the estab- 
lishment of a system of traffic control, the 
improvement of local transportation in in- 
dustrial areas, and the location of storage 
facilities in such a manner as to impose a 
minimum burden on the transportation 
system. 70 

The necessity of moving large numbers 
of troops and great quantities of construc- 
tion materials and military supplies overseas 
as rapidly as ships could be found to trans- 
port them called for a prompt increase in 
the Army port establishment. This meant 
expanding existing ports of embarkation by 
constructing and leasing new pier and ware- 
house facilities and enlarging troop staging 
areas. It also meant increasing the number 
of Army-operated ports. During the three 
months following our entry into the war the 
subports at Charleston and Seattle were 
given independent status as ports of em- 
barkation, active steps were taken to set up 
subports at Boston, Los Angeles, and Port- 
land, Oreg., and plans were laid for estab- 
lishing additional port organizations in the 
near future. Although the general depot 
which had been maintained at the New 
York Port of Embarkation had been re- 

89 Ltr, ODT to G-4, 16 Feb 42; Ltr, Trans Br 
G-4 to ODT, 19 Feb 42; Ltr, ODT to Trans Br 
G-4, 23 Feb 42; Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 
25 Feb 42. All in Trans Br G-4/000.900 ODT. 

70 Ltrs, C of Trans Br G-4 to ODT, 10 Feb 42 
and 17 Feb 42, Trans Br G-4/000.900 ODT. 

moved prior to our entry into the war, so 
as to leave the installation free to perform 
its primary function, it was not until Febru- 
ary 1942 that similar action was taken in 
regard to the San Francisco Port of Em- 
barkation. 71 In order to remove the un- 
certainty which had existed as to which 
branch of the War Department was respon- 
sible for control of the ports of embarkation 
they were placed under the "command" 
of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G— 4, and 
other elements of the Army were instructed 
that no order should be issued to the port 
commanders regarding movements of 
troops, supplies, or equipment except 
through the Chief of the Transportation 
Branch, G-4. 72 

Before we had been in the war a full 
month disturbing congestion had developed 
at the principal ports, New York and San 
Francisco, and it soon appeared also at 
Philadelphia and New Orleans. During 
1941 the Army had established a release 
system for the control of its own portbound 
shipments. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, 
Army regulating stations were established 
at strategic points on the transcontinental 
rail lines for the purpose of holding or di- 
verting shipments destined to Pacific coast 
ports, as port or other conditions might dic- 
tate. Additional holding and reconsignment 
points were authorized to provide intransit 
storage for supplies moving toward the 
South Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific seaboards. 
Additional commercial traffic agencies were 
established at principal ports. It was soon 

71 OCT HB Monograph 8, pp. 5-11. 

72 Memo, DCofS USA for TAG, 16 Dec 41, 
G-4/33854; Memo, TAG for CG's for Armies and 
Corps Areas, CofS GHQ, and C's of Arms and Svs, 
17 Dec 41. Both in AG 612 (12-16-41). This di- 
rective evidently was intended to fix ultimate re- 
sponsibility for the ports but not to relieve QMG 
of responsibility for technical supervision. 



evident, however, that the situation could 
not be met with anything short of an over- 
all traffic control system, covering not only 
military but also lend-lease and commercial 
shipments and capable of holding shipments 
at the source or of taking any other action 
that might be necessary to protect the ports 
from having to receive more freight than 
they could properly handle. The War De- 
partment, the War Shipping Administra- 
tion, and the Office of Defense Transporta- 
tion discussed this problem at length during 
the winter of 1941-42, with the result that 
the general principles of a system which 
would operate under a Transportation Con- 
trol Committee and make extensive use of 
the machinery already established by the 
Army were agreed on in mid-March. The 
development of details was undertaken 
promptly. 73 

The pressure for quick delivery of sup- 
plies in the zone of interior and to oversea 
bases necessitated further warnings against 
disregard of The Quartermaster General's 
transportation prerogatives. The Associa- 
tion of American Railroads complained of 
the great number of requests for informa- 
tion and special services received from many 
sources, and the War Department met this 
situation by requiring that all such requests 
be addressed to The Quartermaster Gen- 
eral's Commercial Traffic Branch. 74 Because 
of the unusual problems encountered by the 
Chief of Ordnance in synchronizing the flow 
of materials and component parts to manu- 
facturing and assembly plants in such a way 
as to avoid production delays, such ship- 
ments were excepted from this require- 

73 Detailed discussion of this subject will be in- 
cluded in Vol IT of T C history. See OCT HB 
Monograph 6, |Ch. VIl] and Monograph 23. 

74 Memo, TAG for CG's of Armies, Army Corps, 
Corps Areas, etc., 22 Dec 41, AG 531 (12-16-41) 
MO-D-M, sub: Contact with AAR, G-4/33858. 

ment. 73 The need for construction work was 
especially grave in Hawaii, and the District 
Engineers at San Francisco and Honolulu 
made certain shipping arrangements di- 
rectly with the Navy and the Maritime 
Commission, with the result that freight and 
personnel of relatively low priority were 
moved while those of higher priorities 
waited. The Chief of Engineers was in- 
structed that all ship space, whether re- 
quired by the Corps of Engineers or by con- 
tractors, must be obtained through The 
Quartermaster General and that priorities 
on movements would be applied by G— 4 in 
accordance with approved recommenda- 
tions of the oversea commanders. 76 

Recognizing the need for technical ad- 
vice and direction of the highest order in 
connection with the operating phases of the 
Army's transportation task, The Quarter- 
master General took steps during the winter 
months of 1942 to acquire the service of 
men of broad transportation experience. 77 
Leading executives from the commercial 
field were engaged to head the activities re- 
lating to water, rail and motor transporta- 
tion, traffic control, and intransit storage, 
and these men became full-time members 
of the Army transportation staff. There 
were also special advisers appointed for 
railway matters and general traffic prob- 
lems, who remained with their businesses 

"Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofOrd, 30 Dec 41, 

70 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofEngrs, 6 Feb 42, 
sub: Ship Space to be Obtained only through 
QMG, G-4/29717-150; 2d Ind, ACofS G-4 for 
CofEngrs, 2 Mar 42, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 

77 Memo, C of Trans Div OQMG (Dillon) for 
ACofS G-4, 4 Feb 42, sub: Trans Org; Memo, 
ACofS G-4 for Dillon, 6 Feb 42. Both in ASF Hq 
QMG. When this exchange took place G-4 (Som- 
ervell) believed that QMG had done well in ob- 
taining strong men as advisers, but needed more of 
that type on his operating staff. 



but gave attention to War Department mat- 
ters when requested. 78 Many other technical 
transportation men were added to the or- 
ganization at this time, some being engaged 
as civilian employees while others were 
taken into the Army as commissioned of- 
ficers. During the three-month period from 
1 December 1941 to 1 March 1942, the 
officer personnel of The Quartermaster 
General's Transportation Division increased 
from 65 to 74, the civilian personnel from 
485 to 632, and the total staff from 550 to 
706. 79 

During this period the Transportation 
Branch of G— 4 further increased its organi- 
zation and intensified its supervision of 
transportation operations. In order to effect 
the closest possible co-ordination between 
staff planning and the execution of troop 
and supply movements, it established a 
Movement Section. Since the ports of em- 
barkation had been made directly responsi- 
ble to G— 4, the Water Section of the Trans- 
portation Branch was enlarged and redesig- 
nated the Port and Water Section. An Air 
Section was established to supervise emer- 
gency movements of Army personnel and 
materiel by the civil air lines in the United 
States and its possessions. 80 The task of 
providing ocean transportation for the per- 
sonnel of military missions to the USSR, the 
Middle East, Africa, and China, together 
with civilian representatives of the State 
Department and other federal agencies, had 
become extremely difficult because of the 

78 Ltr, CofT for Dir of Def Trans, 16 Mar 42, 
SPRY A 322 Trans Div, OCT HB Gross Day File. 

79 Statistical Summary, Transportation Corps, 15 
Oct 42, p. 10, OCT HB MPR. 

80 Memo, TAG for ACofS WPD and ACofS G-4, 
12 Apr 41, WPD 3397-27 • Memo, TAG for ACofS 
WPD, ACofS G-4, and C of AAF, 16 Jul 41, WPD 
3397-27; Memo, ACofS G— 4 for C of Trans Br 
G-4 (Somervell for Gross), 23 Dec 41, Trans Br 
G-4/580, Vol. II. 

scarcity of passenger space to certain des- 
tinations and the great military need; there- 
fore, with a view to obtaining better results 
through centralization, the Transportation 
Branch took over the making of arrange- 
ments for all such traffic. S1 The Chief of 
the Transportation Branch also sought to 
centralize dealings with the Navy on trans- 
portation matters insofar as practical, and 
as a step in that direction arranged for his 
office to control the utilization of passenger 
and freight space made available to the 
Army on Navy ships. 82 An Executive and 
Administrative Section was set up to relieve 
the branch chief and other sections of cer- 
tain office details. A Legal and Fiscal Sec- 
tion was projected, but evidently it was not 
activated.* 3 The staff of the Transportation 
Branch on 9 March 1942 included 44 of- 
ficers. 81 A competent estimate places the 
number of civilians employed with the 
branch on that date at 40. 

The overlapping interests of the Under 
Secretary of W r ar and G— 4 again came into 
evidence during these early war months. 
Pursuant to his concern with the procure- 
ment of war materiel, the Under Secretary 
designated a "traffic and transportation ad- 
viser" to assist him. 85 The adviser promptly 
undertook a survey of the organization and 
operations of The Quartermaster General's 

n Memo for record by author, 17 Feb 44, sub: 
Missions to Middle East; Ltr, C of Trans Br G-4 
to State Dept (Davis), 26 Dec 41. Both in OCT 
HB G-4 Trans Br Misc. 

Memo, by Lt Col C. H. Kelts, 22 Jan 42, sub: 
Conf Held by Rear Adm Taffinder, OCT HB G-4 
Trans Br Army-Navy Relations ; Memo, ACofS G— 4 
for Rear Adm Taffinder USN, 6 Feb 42, OCT HB 
Gross Day File. 

83 Functional chart of G-4, 19 Jan 42, OCT HB 
G— 4 Trans Br Gen. 

84 OCT Assignment Memo 1, 13 Mar 42, OCT 
HB TC Gen Key Personnel. 

s "Memo, OUSW for QMG, 13 Jan 42, sub: 
Survey of WD Trans; Memo, DCofS for USW, 
14 Jan 42. Both in ASF Hq QMG. 



Commercial Traffic Branch. G— 4 objected 
to this survey on jurisdictional grounds, and 
pointed out that it might lead to serious con- 
fusion. An understanding was reached be- 
tween the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, 
and the Under Secretary that the investiga- 
tion would be limited to such phases of The 
Quartermaster General's transportation ac- 
tivity as affected the movement of raw ma- 
terials and semimanufactured articles. 8 ' 1 It 
also was arranged that copies of reports by 
the Under Secretary's adviser would be 
furnished The Quartermaster General, who 
would investigate any alleged inefficiencies 

Concurrently, a thorough inquiry into 
the work of the Commercial Traffic Branch 
was undertaken by an experienced railroad 
executive who was then an officer on the 
staff of the Transportation Branch, G— 4. 
The report of this officer gave general ap- 
proval to the organization and operations 
of the branch. His principal recommenda- 
tions w r erc that aggressive steps be taken to 
overcome personnel shortages, that over- 
crowded office conditions be relieved, that 
the system of communication with field in- 
stallations be amplified, and that closer 
liaison arrangements be worked out be- 
tween the Commercial Traffic Branch and 
the Water Transport Branch in connection 
with the release and routing of portbound 
freight. The Quartermaster General's re- 
sponse indicated that steps already had 
been taken to accomplish three of these ob- 
jectives, and that the other recommenda- 
tion was receiving attention. 87 

Kli Memo, ACofS G-4 for USW, 15 Jan 42; 
Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for Exec Secy ANMB, 
10 Mar 42. Both in OCT HB USW. 

" Memo, C of Rail Sec Trans Br G-4 for ACofS 
G-4, 7 Feb 42, sub: Functional Opn of CTB ; 1st 
Ind, QMG for ACofS G-4, 17 Feb 42. Both in 
OCT 022 OQMG Coml Traf 1941-42. 

Aside from the lack of sufficient equip- 
ment and facilities to accomplish the trans- 
portation task which confronted the Army, 
the greatest handicap was the lack of in- 
tegration in the headquarters organization. 
The Quartermaster General was responsible 
under the law and the regulations for ac- 
complishing the movement of troops and 
materiel. The Transportation Branch, G— 4, 
was responsible for the supervision of these 
operations, and considered itself responsible 
in the last analvsis for their success. " s In its 
efforc to make sure that no undertaking 
failed for lack of preparation and direction, 
the Transportation Branch sometimes en- 
croached on The Quartermaster General's 
domain. This was notably true in regard to 
ports of embarkation, which were responsi- 
ble to G— 4, but which at the same time re- 
quired technical supervision from The 
Quartermaster General's staff of experts in 
connection with the operation of both shore 
facilities and floating equipment. The Chief 
of the Transportation Division, OQMG, 
expressed the following opinion: "The real 
weakness of our transportation setup is that 
the entire job, inland, terminal, and oversea 
is not the direct responsibility of one operat- 
ing organization." iV 

This weakness was recognized in the Gen- 
eral Staff also. Accordingly, when the War 
Department was reorganized under the 
wartime powers of the President, effective 
9 March 1942, and a Services of Supply 
was established to relieve the General Staff 
of the supervision of supply and administra- 
tive services, one of the components of SOS 
was a transportation organization which ab- 

s( Memo, C of Trans Sec G— 4 (Ross) for C of 
Req and Dist Br G-4 (Aurand), 23 Jan 41, sub: 
Responsibilities of QMG and GS in Trans Matters, 


89 Memo for ACofS G-4, 4 Feb 42, sub: Trans 
Org, ASF Hq QMG. 



sorbed the transportation functions previ- 
ously performed by G— 4 and The Quarter- 
master General, and relieved the Under 
Secretary of the work which had been as- 
sumed by his transportation staff. 90 This was 
a long first step in the direction of integra- 
tion in Army transportation administration. 
It is noteworthy that the step was taken 
boldly early in the war, and was not the re- 
sult of slow evolution as in World War I. It 
is noteworthy also that the new transporta- 
tion organization was placed on the supply 
or technical service level, rather than in the 
General Staff as in 1917-18. 

Transportation Service Established 

"Transportation and traffic control" were 
among the responsibilities assigned to the 
Services of Supply (later renamed Army 
Service Forces) in the reorganization of 
the War Department in March 1942. 91 For 
the performance of these responsibilities 
General Somervell, commander of SOS, 
created a Transportation Division, to which 
he assigned the staff and the functions 
previously assigned to the Transportation 
Branch of G— 4 (except the Motor Section), 
The Quartermaster General's Transporta- 
tion Division, the ports of embarkation in- 
cluding their staging areas, the regulating 
stations, and the holding and reconsignment 
points. 92 In his initial directive General 
Somervell designated as Chief of Trans- 
portation Col. Charles P. Gross, who had 

90 EO, 28 Feb 42, sub: Reorg of the Army, etc.; 
WD Cir 59, 2 Mar 42, sub: WD Reorg; Memo, 
CG SOS for C's of Supply Arms and Svs, etc., 
9 Mar 42, sub: Initial Directive for the Org of 
SOS; WD SO 58, 6 Mar 42, par. 6; SOS Adm 
Memo 3, 21 Mar 42, sub: Reassignment of Sec- 
tions, etc. 

91 WD Cir 59, 2 Mar 42, par. 7d (3). 

been Chief of the Transportation Branch, 
G-4, and Gross was promptly promoted to 
brigadier general. 93 Concurrently, Brig. 
Gen. Theodore H. Dillon, who had been 
Chief of the Transportation Division, 
OQMG, was designated Deputy Chief of 

On the day he assumed office the Chief 
of Transportation announced the initial 
organization of the Transportation Divi- 
sion. n+ It consisted of two groups of units, 
designated respectively the functional staff 
and the operating branches. The functional 
staff included the Deputy Chief of Trans- 
portation, who was to act as the principal 
co-ordinating agent of the division, and a 
number of units which were to deal with 
the various aspects of administration and 
the supervision of operating activities. The 
several operating branches were to deal with 
the more technical aspects of transportation 
and with the execution of troop and supply 

This organizational set-up, having been 
hastily and experimentally accomplished, 
was subject to early revision. In April 1942 
the name of the Transportation Division 
was changed to Transportation Service, 
and concurrently the staff units and the op- 
erating branches were redesignated divi- 

02 Memo, CG SOS for C's of Supply Arms and 
Svs, etc., 9 Mar 42, sub: Initial Directive for Org 
of SOS, par. 14c (3). Although not expressly men- 
tioned, commercial traffic agencies were transferred 
to Transportation Division. The Motor Section of 
the Transportation Branch G-4 had been dealing 
principally with organizational equipment, rather 
than with commercial motor transportation, which 
accounts for its not being transferred. 

1)3 Ibid., par. 12f (7). Although from April to 
luly 1942 Gross officially was known as Chief of 
Transportation Service, the title Chief of Trans- 
portation is used uniformly in this history. 

94 OCT Office Memo 1, 9 Mar 42, sub: Org of 
Trans Div, 



sions. 95 There is no apparent advantage in 
tracing step by step the many organizational 
adjustments which were made during this 
formative period, but it may be noted that 
a number of new units were set up to deal 
with rapidly expanding aspects of the work 
and that clearer definition was given to the 
functions of the Deputy Chief of Transpor- 
tation and the Executive Officer. The or- 
ganization of the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation, as it had developed up to 
30 June 1942, is shown in |Chart l.| 

Although the headquarters organization 
expanded in most directions between its 
establishment and 31 July 1942 when the 
Transportation Service became the Trans- 
portation Corps, it lost control of the ad- 
ministration of priorities and the assign- 
ment of space for the air movement of 
Army personnel and freight. This control, 
which had been exercised by the Transpor- 
tation Branch of G— 4 during the early weeks 
of the war, had passed naturally to the 
Chief of Transportation on 9 March 1942. 9 '' 
Originally the control had extended only 
to air movements by commercial planes 
within the United States and its possessions, 
but its scope had been broadened to cover 
domestic and oversea movements by both 
commercial and Army aircraft. 97 In order 
to administer this responsibility properly, 
the Chief of Transportation had under- 
taken to build up a strong staff, known for 
a time as the Air Priorities Branch and 

05 SOS GO 4, 9 Apr 42 ; OCT Office Memo 28, 
11 Apr 42; OCT Office Memo 34, 22 Apr 42. 
These and other directives pertaining to organiza- 
tion are in OCT HB TC Gen Cirs. 

80 Directive 3 of Military Director of Civil Avi- 
ation, 5 Feb 42, sub: Priorities for Air Trans, Trans 
Br G-4/580, Vol. II; WD Cir 168, 1 Jun 42, sub: 
Air Travel and Trans. 

07 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 21 Feb 42, 
sub: Priority Air Trans Overseas, Trans Br 
G-4/580, Vol. II. 

later as the Air Division, and had com- 
missioned an executive of one of the leading 
commercial air lines to head this unit. 98 The 
Army Air Forces, however, was not favor- 
ably disposed toward this arrangement, and 
eventually General Somervell acquiesced in 
the AAF view. Effective 1 July 1942 the 
control over priorities and the personnel of 
the Air Division were transferred to the 
Army Air Forces. 99 

General Gross was opposed to the change. 
As Chief of the Transportation Branch of 
G— 4 he had contended strongly for the re- 
tention of this prerogative when the ques- 
tion came up soon after Pearl Harbor, on 
the ground that control of all Army traffic 
should be centralized in one office. 11 ' After 
the conclusion of hostilities he again ex- 
pressed the opinion that movements by air 
require careful co-ordination with surface 
movements in order to obtain an impartial 
administration of priorities, and that this 
end can be accomplished satisfactorily only 
if the entire responsibility rests with one 
agency. The experiences of the war, he said, 
justified his earlier claims. 101 

At this point it is of interest to note that 
in May 1942, after conversations between 
Brig. Gen. W. D. Styer, Chief of Staff of 
the Services of Supply, and an officer of the 
Air Ferrying Command, Styer proposed 
that "aerial ports of embarkation" be estab- 
lished and operated by the Transportation 

9S Developments Dec 41— Jun 42 are reviewed 
in Hist Rec, Air Priorities Br and Air Div, 1 Jul 
42, OCT HB Air Div. 

as Memo, Somervell for Gross, 21 Jun 42, ASF 
Hq Trans 1942; WD Cir 211, 1 Jul 42, Sec. III. 
At this time Somervell was endeavoring to per- 
suade AAF to leave all port (water) operations to 
CofT SOS, and developments suggest that a trade 
was made. 

100 Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for C of Ping and 
Liaison Sec G-4, 22 Dec 41, sub: EO Granting 
SW Certain Powers over Civil Aviation, 

101 Gross final rpt, p. 18. 




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Service at West Palm Beach, Fla., Prcsque 
Isle, Maine, and Hamilton Field, Calif. 102 
After the Transportation Service had de- 
veloped a tentative plan, the proposal was 
sent to the Army Air Forces for concur- 
rence." 15 The response, received two months 
later, was not a concurrence. 114 Rather, it 
stated that since the responsibility for the 
movement of cargo and personnel by air had 
been assigned to the Army Air Forces as of 
1 July 1942, and since the basic, directive 
establishing the Army Air Forces charged 
that agency with command and control of 
all AAF stations not assigned to defense 
commands or theaters of operation, aerial 
ports of embarkation necessarily would be 
operated by the Army Air Forces. 

The build-up of the Army's transporta- 
tion field organization went forward rapidly 
under the Transportation Service. The sub- 
port of Boston became a port of embarka- 
tion; a port of embarkation was activated 
at Hampton Roads, Va., and a subport was 
installed at Mobile, Ala. In order to relieve 
the port of embarkation at Seattle and fa- 
cilitate the flow of supplies to Alaska, sub- 
ports were set up at Prince Rupert, British 
Columbia, and Juneau, Alaska. One addi- 
tional holding and reconsignment point was 
authorized, bringing the total to nine. The 
commercial traffic agencies were redesig- 
nated port agencies and their number was 
increased. A beginning was made of estab- 
lishing traffic control agencies to regulate 
the movement of Army freight at important 

102 Memo, CofS SOS for Dir Opns Div SOS, 1 
May 42; Memo, GofT for Dir Opns Div SOS, 4 
May 42. Both in OCT 3233. For data regarding 
projected North Atlantic Ferry Route sec CMTC 
21st Mtg, 5 Jun 42. 

1,13 Memo, CG SOS for CG AAF, sub: Air Ports 
of Embarkation, 23 May 42, OCT 323.3, 

101 Memo, CG AAF for CG SOS, 21 Jul 42, OCT 

inland industrial centers, freight consolidat- 
ing and distributing agencies to handle less- 
than-carload shipments moving between cer- 
tain points, and transportation agencies to 
supervise all installations and activities of 
the Transportation Service within the areas 
assigned to them. The establishment of a 
training center for transportation troop 
units was authorized. 

After the United States had been at war 
for six months the Chief of Transportation 
summarized the accomplishments of his 
organization during that period and com- 
pared them with accomplishments for a 
corresponding period in World War I. luo 
He stated that 390,000 troops had been em- 
barked for oversea destinations during the 
six months since 7 December 1941, against 
122,400 during a like period in 1917; a 
total of 1,900,000 short tons of cargo had 
been shipped overseas, compared with 287,- 
000 short tons. Ten ports of embarkation 
and subports were being operated to serve 
seven oversea theaters in 1942, compared 
with three ports of embarkation serving one 
oversea theater in 1917. The statement 
pointed out, furthermore, that a complete 
system of traffic control had been placed in 
operation, including numerous installa- 
tions operated by the Transportation Serv- 
ice, and that this system had effectively fore- 
stalled port congestion such as had seriously 
interfered with the Army's oversea effort 
during the first year of World War I. The 
total military and civilian personnel of the 
Transportation Service was stated to be 
approximately 60,000, or about four times 
the total transportation personnel of the 
Army on 7 December 1941. 

Although these results were considered 
gratifying, the Chief of Transportation be- 

'"" Memo for Gen Somervell, 1 1 Jul 42, OCT 



lieved that his organization was operating 
under certain handicaps and manifested 
certain shortcomings which demanded rec- 
tification. This situation was laid before the 
Chief of Staff on 30 June 1942. 106 It was 
pointed out that the transportation officers 
on duty with the armies, army corps, corps 
areas, posts, camps, and stations were des- 
ignated by the respective commanders, that 
they sometimes were not qualified for the 
task, and that they were not subject to 
proper supervision by the Chief of Trans- 
portation. Adequate provision had not been 
made for the procurement and training of 
military personnel to perform transportation 
tasks, though a large increase of such per- 
sonnel would soon be required. The fact 
that the military staff of the Transportation 
Service consisted of officers detailed from 
other branches of the Army meant that the 
Transportation Service lacked the unity of 
purpose, technical competence, and esprit 
de corps which were considered essential. Be- 
cause of personnel shortages which already 
existed, the Transportation Service lacked 
the means, as well as the authority, to satis- 
factorily carry out its full responsibility. 

With a view to correcting this situation, a 
number of recommendations were presented 
to the Chief of Staff. It was proposed that 
the Transportation Service be constituted a 
separate corps paralleling in a general way 
the Corps of Engineers and the Quarter- 
master Corps, and that the Transportation 
Corps have a distinctive insigne. It was 
proposed that the Transportation Corps 
have its own replacement training center 
and officer candidate school; that officers of 
the Transportation Corps be assigned as 
transportation officers at posts, camps, and 
stations, and on the staffs of tactical units; 

""Memo, CG SOS for CofS USA, sub: Reorg 
of TS, OCT 020 Org of TC. 

that port battalions, port headquarters and 
headquarters companies, and railhead 
companies, then designated Quartermaster 
units, be redesignated Transportation Corps 
units. It was proposed also, in view of the 
urgent necessity for rapid expansion of the 
staff, that the restrictions on recruitment of 
military personnel from civil life be relaxed 
in favor of the Transportation Corps, and 
that the corps be authorized to acquire 
officers and enlisted men having transporta- 
tion experience^ although they already were 
in service with other branches of the Army. 

The Judge Advocate General, who was 
requested to review these proposals from a 
legal point of view, found that the Secretary 
of War by appropriate orders could create 
a transportation corps as a separate com- 
mand for the period of the war and six 
months thereafter, but that under existing 
statutes and regulations a transportation 
corps could not be established as a perma- 
nent component of the Army. 107 He also 
pointed out certain conditions relating to 
the acquisition of personnel from other 
branches of the Army by the proposed new 
corps, conditions which existed because of 
the corps' temporary status. 

Transportation Corps Created 

The main proposal to establish a trans- 
portation corps was approved by the Chief 
of Staff, but certain of the subsidiary recom- 
mendations were not accepted. 108 The re- 
quest for a Transportation Corps replace- 
ment training center and a Transportation 
Corps officer candidate school, and for 
relaxation of the restriction on the procure- 

1,17 Memo, JAGD for ACofS G-4, 14 Jul 42, 
sub : Reorg of TS and Creation of TC, OCT 020 
Org of TC. 

""Memo, DCofS USA for CG SOS, 17 Jul 42, 
OCT 020 Org of TC. 



merit of personnel, were disallowed because 
it was believed that the problems which 
gave rise to these recommendations could 
be met by means already available or soon 
to become available. Such means included 
a training center for transportation troop 
units which recently had been authorized 
and an officer candidate school which was 
then under consideration for establishment 
as an installation of the Services of Supply. 

Creation of the Transportation Corps 
was announced on 31 July 1942, effective 
as of that date. 100 The new corps was placed 
under a Chief of Transportation, who was 
charged with "the direction, supervision, 
and coordination of all transportation 
functions of the War Department, and 
with the operation of field installations per- 
taining thereto." All duties previously as- 
signed to the Transportation Service were 
transferred to the Transportation Corps, 
and the former designation was ordered 
discontinued. All officers and warrant 
officers who were serving with the Trans- 
portation Service on the date of its dis- 

100 WD GO 38, sub: Estab of TC. 

continuance were detailed to duty with the 
Transportation Corps, and enlisted men 
who were assigned to the Transportation 
Service were transferred to the Transporta- 
tion Corps. All officers and warrant officers 
who had been designated by their com- 
manding officers to serve as transportation 
officers at posts, camps, stations, and other 
military activities were directed to continue 
performing the duties of that office under 
the jurisdiction of the commanders appoint- 
ing them, until the Chief of Transportation 
should effect their detail to duty with the 
Transportation Corps or should designate 
Transportation Corps officers as their suc- 
cessors. The Quartermaster troop units 
known as port headquarters and head- 
quarters companies, port battalions, rail- 
head companies, and aviation boat com- 
panies were transferred to the Transporta- 
tion Corps and appropriately redesig- 
nated. 110 

110 The transfer of railhead companies and avi- 
ation boat companies was rescinded within a few 
weeks. WD GO 42, 17 Aug 42, Sec. I; WD GO 46, 
17 Sep 42, Sec. II. 


The Office 
of the Chief of Transportation 

The mainspring of the new Transporta- 
tion Corps, the driving and controlling 
force, naturally was the Office of the Chief 
of Transportation. The functions assigned 
to General Gross were greatly enlarged 
when the Transportation Corps was estab- 
lished, and they were increased further as 
the war progressed. The task which fell to 
his immediate office therefore was an ex- 
panding one, involving not only the 
management of increased personnel and 
added installations but also the develop- 
ment of organizations, equipment, and pro- 
cedures to meet the growing transportation 
requirements of the Army. 

An indication of the growth of Trans- 
portation Corps activities is found in the 
growth of its personnel. Between 31 July 
1942, when the corps was created, and 30 
June 1945 the total of the Transportation 
Corps' military strength and the civilian 
personnel directly employed by installations 
under the control of the Chief of Transpor- 
tation in the zone of interior increased from 
81,008 to 352,217, or 335 percent. On the 
latter date, moreover, numerous other 
workers were employed at TC installations 
in the zone of interior, including the mili- 
tary personnel of other arms and services, 
the employees of stevedores and other con- 
tractors, Italian service units, and German 
prisoners of war, and the Chief of Trans- 
portation reported that taking these into 

account the total of the personnel under his 
control was 434,998. On that basis the 
increase was over 400 percent. 1 

The functions assigned to the Chief of 
Transportation, as stated in the directive 
by which the Transportation Corps was 
created, were expressed in general terms 
which might easily convey an inaccurate 
impression of the duties actually assumed 
by the new corps. 2 There were certain 
functions directly connected with transpor- 
tation which at that time were not within 
his jurisdiction. In one important traffic 
field, where the Chief of Transportation 
clearly had jurisdiction, he was impelled by 
practical considerations to delegate a con- 
siderable part of his authority to another 
branch of the Army. Under these circum- 
stances, and in order to better understand 
subsequent developments, it is desirable to 
examine the responsibilities which actually 

1 See Statistical Summary, TC, 15 Oct 42, p. 10, 
for data for 31 Jul 42; STM-30, Strength of the 
Army, 1 Jul 45, p. 26, shows military strength of 
TC as 263,139, of which 67,071 were in continental 
U.S. and 196,068 were outside U.S.- ASF MPR, 
Sec. 5, Pers, 30 Jun 45, p. 22, shows civilians di- 
rectly employed in ZI as 89,078. Total of 434,998, 
given in Gross final rpt, p. 116, was computed by 
Dir of Pers OCT to show total military and civilian 
personnel under the command or supervision of 
CofT; this figure does not include personnel of 
other services, civilians, or prisoners of war utilized 
in transportation operations in theaters. 

2 Statement of general duties of CofT in AR 
55—5, par. 3, 5 Oct 42, also lacked definiteness. 



were assigned to the Chief of the Transpor- 
tation Corps at the beginning of the corps' 

Initial Responsibilities 

As regards inland transportation in the 
zone of interior, the Chief of Transporta- 
tion was responsible for making all arrange- 
ments for nontactical movements of Army 
personnel and materiel by railway, highway, 
and waterway carriers. He was responsible 
for the control of such movements with a 
view to timely deliveries and for the avoid- 
ance of congestion along the lines and at 
the terminals of the carriers, at Army 
installations, and at the ports. He set up and 
controlled such installations as were neces- 
sary for the proper performance of these 
functions. He established the requirements 
for locomotives and cars for utility railways, 
except at installations exclusively under the 
control of other services, exercised a general 
supervision over the operation and mainte- 
nance of such equipment, and arranged with 
common carriers for services to and from all 
Army installations. The Chief of Transpor- 
tation was charged with the effective utiliza- 
tion of the Army's fleet of tank cars, and in 
fulfillment of that responsibility he deter- 
mined when additional cars were needed 
and what types were best suited to the 
requirements. 3 He gave technical super- 
vision to the activities of transportation 
officers at Army posts, camps, and stations 
(other than Army Air Forces installations), 
subject to the orders of the installation com- 
manders, and provided qualified officers to 
fill those positions upon request. 4 He had no 
duties in connection with transportation by 
aircraft in the zone of interior. 

As regards deepwater transportation, the 
Chief of Transportation was responsible for 
operating the ocean-going vessels which 
were owned or chartered by the Army, and 
arranging for the allocation of additional 
vessels by the War Shipping Administra- 
tion to complete Army requirements. He 
planned for and executed the movement 
of Army passenger and freight traffic on 
these vessels, as well as on transports op- 
erated by the Navy and on commercial 
vessels. He established and controlled ports 
of embarkation in the zone of interior for 
the storage and transshipment of freight, 
for the staging and transshipment of troops 
and other passengers, and for the operation 
and repair of vessels. He established the 
requirements of the Army for the many 
types of harbor craft and other small 
vessels, procured such vessels, and assigned 
them to the elements of the Army by which 
they were utilized. The Chief of Transpor- 
tation trained the troop units required for 
the operation of ports in oversea theaters, 
and in the summer of 1942 he was prepar- 
ing to train other troop units which, it then 
was apparent, would be needed by theater 
commanders in connection with their 
marine operations.'"' He had no responsibili- 
ties in connection with transoceanic air 

In the communication zones of the over- 
sea theaters, transportation operations were 
entirely under the control of the theater 
commanders, but they depended largely on 
the zone of interior for personnel and equip- 
ment with which to fulfill their responsibili- 
ties. The Chief of Transportation for the 
War Department, upon request, detailed 
experienced transportation officers to serve 

S AR 30-905, par. 14, 1 Aug 29. 
4 WD Cir 1 30, Sec. IV, 1 May 42 : WD GO 38, 
par. 4, 31 Jul 42. 

■'' AR 30-1105, 30 Jul 32; AR 30-1110, 1 Apr 
32: WD TM 10-380, 14Feb41, sub: Water Trans; 
WD GO 38, par. 5, 31 Jul 42. 



in theater and base section headquarters. As 
already indicated, he procured equipment 
and trained troop units for port and marine 
operations in the theaters. He controlled 
the movement of all supplies by water to 
oversea destinations in accordance with 
theater requisitions. He developed shipping 
procedures and co-ordinated ship sailings 
with the theater commanders so as to avoid 
congestion at oversea ports and confusion 
in the delivery of supplies to depots and 
dumps. At the inception of the Transporta- 
tion Corps the Chief of Transportation had 
no responsibilities in connection with the 
operation of railway, highway, or air serv- 
ices in the theaters. 

Notwithstanding his clear authority in 
regard to arrangements for ocean transporta- 
tion, General Gross found it necessary soon 
after the establishment of the Transporta- 
tion Corps to take steps to assure uniform 
compliance with his prerogatives. In con- 
nection with the shipment of freight from 
California ports for use in construction work 
on the Pan-American Highway, he objected 
to the Corps of Engineers making shipping 
arrangements directly. The Commanding 
General, San Francisco Port of Embarka- 
tion, accordingly was informed that all mat- 
ters relating to the procuring of ships or 
shipping space, the assembling of cargo 
at shipside, and the loading of vessels 
properly belonged to the Transportation 
Corps and that, while there would be no 
objection to delegating authority for such 
work to an Engineer officer at a port where 
there was no representative of the Trans- 
portation Corps, such an officer should be 
designated acting transportation officer for 
that particular operation. 8 Similar advice 
was sent to other ports of embarkation for 

6 Ltr, ACofT for CG SFPE, 23 Nov 42, OCT 
486.1 Los Angeles. 

their guidance. Also the Chief of Trans- 
portation informed the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration that considerable confusion 
had developed because of efforts on the part 
of the Army Air Forces to book cargo 
directly with the operators of WSA vessels, 
and requested that no space on ships 
controlled by WSA be allocated to the 
Army except through the Transportation 
Corps. 7 

In the field of domestic transportation, 
likewise, General Gross found it necessary 
to protect his sphere of authority from en- 
croachment. He protested to General Som- 
ervell that, despite previous instructions, 
misunderstanding still existed among the 
supply services. He specifically cited the fact 
that the Ordnance Department was main- 
taining two transportation sections which 
overlapped the Transportation Corps and 
were not "adequately responsive" to the 
policies laid down by the Chief of Trans- 
portation. 8 He pointed out, furthermore, 
that the Ordnance Department was operat- 
ing a school of transportation at one of its 
arsenals, the curriculum and the policy of 
which had not been reviewed or approved 
by the Chief of Transportation. The result 
of this protest was a directive to the chiefs 
of supply services, requiring that any trans- 
portation activities contrary to the regula- 
tions be discontinued at once, and pointing 
out that officers engaged in such activities 
for other supply services were subject to 
detail in or assignment to duty with the 
Transportation Corps. 9 This action had the 
desired effect so far as the several elements 

7 Ltr, CofT to Dir of Allocations WSA, 17 Oct, 
42, OCT HB Gross WSA. 

8 Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 14 Oct 42, sub: 
Clarification of Responsibility for Trans Functions, 
AG 322.999 Trans Corps. 

Memo, CG SOS for C's of Supply Svs, 17 Oct 
42-, AG 322.999 Trans Corps. 



of the Services of Supply were concerned. A 
different situation prevailed in regard to the 
Army Air Forces, and this is a matter which 
calls for some elaboration. 

Delegation of Authority to the 
Army Air Forces 

During the prewar emergency and during 
the war there was a general trend toward 
greater autonomy on the part of the Army 
Air Forces, and that trend was apparent in 
transportation matters. In the preceding 
chapter reference was made to the differing 
opinions regarding the control of move- 
ments by aircraft and also to the transfer 
of that function from the Transportation 
Service to AAF on 1 July 1942. A similar 
situation was developing during the early 
part of 1 942 in regard to shipments of AAF 
freight by domestic surface carriers. The 
Air Forces greatly enlarged their traffic 
organization throughout the country and 
placed at its head a former traffic manager 
of one of the large aircraft manufacturing 
concerns. This organization paralleled in 
many ways the field establishment which 
was being built up by the Chief of Trans- 

The tendency toward AAF autonomy in 
the control of domestic freight traffic was 
given a measure of recognition in May 
1942, when the responsibilities of the Chief 
of Transportation for the supervision of 
transportation officers at posts, camps, and 
other Army stations were being defined. 
The War Department circular dealing with 
this subject expressly provided that the 
transportation officers at air installations 
and with air activities would be under the 
supervision of the Director of Traffic and 
Transportation at Army Air Forces' head- 
quarters, "under authority delegated by the 

Chief of Transportation Service." 10 The 
delegation of authority appears to have 
been made informally in the course of the 
conferences between General Gross and 
AAF officials regarding the text of the cir- 

During the summer of 1942 the Office of 
the Chief of Transportation was engaged in 
preparing a revision of the basic directive 
governing transportation by commercial 
carriers in the zone of interior. 11 The Army 
Air Forces took that occasion to present 
their claim for independence in the handling 
of their own freight traffic. They proposed 
that AAF be given authority to route, 
divert, and trace shipments; to contact the 
railroads with reference to classification and 
rate matters; to maintain a rate service; 
and to furnish transportation information to 
and obtain reports from transportation 
officers at AAF installations. 12 Numerous 
conferences and exchanges of memoranda 
between representatives of the Air Forces 
and the Chief of Transportation followed, 
during which the merits of the AAF pro- 
posal were explored and an effort was made 
to determine how far such an arrangement 
could be accepted without curtailment of 
the Transportation Corps' over-all effective- 

The Chief of Transportation, although 
opposed in principle to any qualification of 
his control over the Army's domestic traffic, 
recognized that his field organization was 

"WD Cir 130, Sec. IV, 1 May 42; see also file 
AG 300.5 (4-16-42) WD Cir 130, Sec. IV. 

11 AR 30-905, 1 Aug 29, Trans by Coml Means- 

12 Memo, C of Legal and Fiscal Div OCT for 
DCofT, 20 Jul 42, sub: Conf re Revision AR 
55-105 (30-905), OCT 519 (AR 30-905) Vol. II. 

13 Memo, C of Legal and Fiscal Div OCT for 
AAF (Boudreau), 15 Aug 42; Memo, CofT for 
Dir of Contl Div SOS, 30 Sep 42. Both in OCT 
500 (AR 55-105). 



still in the formative stage, and knew also 
that the Deputy Chief of Staff supported the 
AAF position. 14 The result of the dis- 
cussions, which extended over a period of 
several months, was a compromise. In 
October 1942 it was agreed that the revised 
regulation should leave the Chief of Trans- 
portation's authority over War Department 
traffic unimpaired, but should provide that 
he might delegate authority and duties as 
he deemed proper and necessary. After this 
agreement and before the revised regulation 
actually was published, the Chief of Trans- 
portation delegated to the Air Forces such 
authority as he considered "consistent with 
general policy and retention of control 
necessary to avoid traffic congestion . . . and 
. . . with keeping the War Department in 
a strong position before the transportation 
systems and other governmental agen- 
cies." 15 

The authority delegated to the Army Air 
Forces included the inland routing of all 
AAF freight shipments, but certain condi- 
tions were stipulated. As regards portbound 
shipments the Air Forces were to procure 
releases from the Chief of Transportation 
and honor any requests which he might 
make for changes in terminal routings. As 
regards domestic movements the Air Forces 
were expected to follow any requests made 
by the Chief of Transportation's Traffic 
Control Division relative to routings and 
diversions considered necessary to the avoid- 
ance of traffic congestion. It was stipulated 
further that any AAF regulations affecting 
general transportation policies would be 
referred to the Chief of Transportation for 

14 See comments of Col L. W. Finaly, Exec OCT, 
5 Dec 49, OCT HB Topic AAF. 

"Memo, CofT for CG AAF, 5 Oct 42, sub: 
Changes in AR 55-105 and AAF Regulations 75-1, 
OCT 500 (AR 55-105); AR 55-105, par. 2g, 29 
Dec 42. 

concurrence prior to issuance, so as to avoid 
the possibility of conflicting instructions and 
the dissipation of War Department influ- 
ence with transportation agencies and 
regulatory bodies. The Air Forces expressed 
complete concurrence in these principles 
and a desire to co-operate with the Chief 
of Transportation in their enforcement. 16 

The Army Air Forces' letter of concur- 
rence informed the Chief of Transportation 
of a plan to establish fifteen transportation 
districts within the continental United 
States and to activate a field supervisory 
office in each district, which would have 
technical control of all AAF transportation 
officers. The plan included the decentraliza- 
tion of routing to the districts. At that time 
(October 1942) the Chief of Transporta- 
tion did not take exception to this arrange- 
ment. 17 In the following December, how- 
ever, with his own field organization greatly 
expanded and reorganized under the 
control of nine zone transportation officers, 
he took a different position. He then pointed 
out that with Air Forces and Transporta- 
tion Corps field agencies operating side by 
side there inevitably would be overlapping 
and duplication, and he proposed that the 
Transportation Corps absorb the AAF 
transportation agencies, except those per- 
taining to organic motor equipment and 
air transportation. 18 The Chief of Transpor- 
tation conceded that AAF headquarters 
would require a transportation staff to 
maintain necessary liaison with his office. 

This proposal was not approved. Instead, 
the Deputy Chief of Staff directed that 

16 Memo, CG AAF for CofT, 17 Oct 42, OCT 
500 (AR 55-105). 

17 See Memo, CofT for Dir of Traf and Trans 
AAF, 23 Oct 42, OCT 500 ( AR 55-105) . 

lfl Memo, CofT for ACofS G-l, 3 Dec 42; sub: 
Offs for Trans Sv of AAF, SPTDC 320.21, AG 
WDGAP 210.31 (11-27-42) AAF Traf Org. 



where Air Forces and Transportation Corps 
field traffic offices were located in the same 
cities they should occupy adjoining quarters 
and that AAF district offices should be 
organized with a view to their ultimate 
absorption in the TC field establishment. 13 
The personnel procurement objective of the 
Air Forces, which had contemplated the 
commissioning of 1,000 officers from civil 
life for the traffic organization, was cur- 
tailed. The Chief of Transportation issued 
instructions to his field offices late in Decem- 
ber outlining the arrangement with the Air 
Forces and the relations which should be 
maintained between the two organizations, 
and corresponding AAF instructions were 
issued in mid-February. 2U Both instructions 
referred to the requirement that AAF and 
TC offices occupy adjoining quarters, but 
this objective fell short of complete attain- 
ment, in part because of the scarcity of 
office space in many cities. 

In April 1943 the War Department Man- 
power Board took cognizance of the two 
traffic organizations functioning side by 
side, observed that this did not appear to be 
an "intelligent use of personnel," and 
suggested that the AAF transportation 
offices were "superfluous." 21 Responding to 
the board's request for an explanation, the 
Assistant Chief of Transportation for Op- 
erations, Brig. Gen. Robert H. Wylie, re- 
viewed the circumstances leading up to the 
existing arrangement, restated the position 
taken by the Chief of Transportation during 
the preceding December, pointed out that 

1fl Memo, Asst Scry WDGS for ACofS G-l, 20 
Dec 42, AG WDGAP 210.31 (11-27-42) AAF 
Traf Org; Memo, CofS SOS for CofT, 21 Dec 
42, ASF Hq CofS Trans. 

20 OCT Instructions 50-1, 26 Dec 42: AAF 
Memo 75-2, 17 Feb 43, sub: Estab of AAF Traf 
and Trans Gontl Dists, OCT HB Topic AAF. 

31 Memo, Pres WDMB for CofT, 6 Apr 43, AG 
WDMB 523.5. 

AAF traffic constituted only about 7 percent 
of all carload traffic moving on War De- 
partment bills of lading, and stated that a 
thorough survey had revealed no AAF 
transportation problems which could not be 
handled by the TC field organization with 
the addition of only a fraction of the person- 
nel proposed for the AAF district or- 
ganization. 22 The War Department Man- 
power Board made further inquiry into 
the matter, but was informed by the Deputy 
Chief of Staff that he considered AAF 
control of transportation essential to the 
success of its procurement program, and ac- 
cordingly the board decided that nothing 
more should be done toward changing the 
existing arrangement. " 

A representative of G— 4, who made an 
investigation in the Chicago area in the 
spring of 1945, reported that he saw no 
reason why the functions of the AAF 
district transportation offices could not be 
absorbed by the TC zone transportation 
organization. 24 No action was taken, how- 
ever, to carry this suggestion into effect, 
and the separate transportation services 
continued throughout the war and the de- 
mobilization period. 

General Gross never was satisfied with 
this arrangement. Although a high degree 
of co-operation was developed between the 
Transportation Corps and the AAF traffic 
and transportation organization under the 
direction of Col. Charles F. Nielsen, Gross 
believed that the division of responsibility 
was inconsistent with the principles of good 

22 Memo, ACofT for Pres WDMB, 24 Apr 43, 
sub: AAF Traf and Trans Org, AG WDMB 523.5. 

23 Memo, Pres WDMB for CG AAF, 27 Apr 43, 
sub: Traf and Trans Org; 1st Ind, CG AAF for 
Pres WDMB, 6 May 43 ; 2d Ind, Pres WDMB for 
CofT, 31 May 43. All in AG WDMB 523.5. 

24 Memo, G-4 Investigator (Henderson) for 
ACofS G-4, 12 May 45, sub: Trans Agencies in 
Chicago Area, AG WDGDS 320.2 Trans Unit. 



traffic management. In January 1944, when 
summarizing for General Somervell the 
principal problems confronting his or- 
ganization, he referred to the duplicating 
activities of the Army Service Forces and 
the Army Air Forces and remarked that 
in the interest of efficiency constant effort 
should be made toward the maximum uni- 
fication of their supply procedures. 25 In his 
final report, prepared shortly after the 
termination of hostilities, the wartime Chief 
of Transportation, referring to this situa- 
tion, stated: "Despite the good intentions 
of all parties, such a divided responsibility 
cannot exist without giving rise to incon- 
sistencies and misunderstandings." Accord- 
ingly, he recommended that the arrange- 
ment be terminated as soon as conditions 
should make this possible. 2G The authority 
delegated to the Air Forces, it will be re- 
called, pertained only to domestic freight 
traffic, not to AAF domestic passenger 
traffic or AAF ocean traffic, which were 
under the control of the Chief of Transpor- 

Additional Responsibilities 

Establishment of the Transportation 
Service in March 1942 was regarded as 
merely a first step toward the fuller inte- 
gration of Army transportation administra- 
tion, although no master plan for later 
developments was then formulated. The 
process of integration was carried further 
when the Transportation Corps was created 
in July 1942, but there still were broad 
fields of surface transportation outside the 
jurisdiction of the Chief of Transportation, 
notably military railway services and mili- 
tary highway services. The former soon 

25 Memo, GofT for GG ASF, 20 Jan 44, Item 22, 
OCT HB TC Gen Misc. 

26 Gross final rpt, p. 20. 

were added to his responsibilities, but the 
latter remained outside his purview until 
after the end of the war. 

In April 1942, after discussion with the 
Chief of Engineers, the Chief of Transpor- 
tation presented his views regarding mili- 
tary railways to General Somervell. 27 He 
stressed the advantage of having transporta- 
tion functions centered in one agency and 
having the transportation organizations in 
oversea theaters parallel that in the zone 
of interior. He recognized, on the other 
hand, that the process of effecting such a 
change during wartime would involve 
temporary disadvantages, particularly in the 
field of procurement. Accordingly he recom- 
mended that responsibility for military rail- 
ways be transferred from the Corps of 
Engineers to the Transportation Service, 
except construction and the procurement of 
railway equipment and supplies. 

The Chief of Engineers did not concur in 
this proposal. He expressed the view that 
the railway activities of the Army were be- 
ing carried on efficiently and expeditiously 
under the existing arrangement. 2 " He 
pointed out, furthermore, that in the Corps 
of Engineers railway functions were dis- 
tributed among many agencies and that 
the transfer of overhead personnel would 
involve considerable tearing down and 
welding together again, with a resulting loss 
of time. The Chief of Engineers submitted 
a memorandum from his Supply Division 
indicating that contracts for railway equip- 
ment already let or about to be let totaled 
approximately $100,000,000, and covered 
572 locomotives and 5,800 cars of various 

27 Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 30 Apr 42, OCT 
020 Transfer of Functions. 

2S Ltr, CofEngrs to CG SOS, 1 May 42, OCT 
020 Transfer of Functions. 



General Somervell believed that further 
changes regarding transportation might be 
desirable, and as an aid to decision he 
sought advice from the theater point of 
view. In June 1942 he wrote to Dwight D. 
Eisenhower, Commanding General, United 
States Army in the European Theater of 
Operations, recalling the confusion that had 
existed in France during World War I be- 
cause of frequent changes in the organiza- 
tion that handled transportation matters 
for the American Expeditionary Forces and 
because of the lack of understanding be- 
tween the AEF and the War Department, 
and requested General Eisenhower's views 
as theater commander on two questions. 29 
One was the question whether the operat- 
ing personnel of the military railways should 
remain under the Chief of Engineers or be 
placed under the Chief of Transportation. 
In his response, General Eisenhower stated 
that he favored the latter arrangement, and 
strongly endorsed the principle of integra- 
tion in transportation operations. 30 The 
other question, relating to motor transport, 
will be discussed later in this section. 

The creation of the Transportation Corps 
on 31 July 1942 and the broader authority 
then assigned to the Chief of Transporta- 
tion placed him in a better position to 
assume and perform added functions. His 
assumption of control over military rail- 
ways was accomplished in two steps. In 
September 1942 the Transportation Corps 
was made responsible for operations and for 
maintenance of way and equipment. 31 Soon 
thereafter a recommendation that all 
activities in connection with military rail- 

- 3 Memo, CG SOS for Eisenhower, 22 Jun 42, 
OCT HB Rail Div MRS. 

30 Memo, Eisenhower for Somervell, 27 Jun 42, 
sub: Contl and Opn of Trans, AG Adm 341 A 
(Opns Rpts) . 

31 AR 100-50, par. 4, 1 Sep 42. 

ways, except construction, be charged to 
the Chief of Transportation was placed 
before General Somervell and received his 
approval. 32 War Department action fol- 
lowed and the change became effective 16 
November 1942. 33 

This action made the Chief of Transpor- 
tation responsible for research, design, 
development, procurement, storage, and 
distribution in connection with all rolling 
stock and distinctive railway equipment 
for both military and utility railways; op- 
eration and maintenance of all railways 
previously assigned to the Corps of 
Engineers, both in the zone of the interior 
and in theaters of operation; activation, 
training, and assignment of all head- 
quarters, operating, shop, and other troop 
organizations of the Military Railway Serv- 
ice; control of all funds, properties, and 
equipment pertaining to MRS. All civilian 
personnel engaged primarily in the activi- 
ties of MRS was transferred to the Trans- 
portation Corps, and all officers primarily 
engaged in such activities were assigned to 
duty with the Transportation Corps. New 
construction for military and utility rail- 
ways continued to be the responsibility of 
the Corps of Engineers. 34 The administra- 
tive problems involved in the transfer were 
simplified by arranging that personnel and 
facilities which had been utilized partly 
but not primarily for the military railways 

'-Memo, CofS SOS for CG SOS, 26 Oct 42; 
Memo, CofS for CofT, 27 Oct 42. Both in OCT 
020 Transfer of Functions. 

33 WD GO 60, 5 Nov 42, sub: Transfer of 
Activities and Functions Pertaining to Rys from 
CE to TC. 

3i AR 55-650, 27 Feb 43, stated responsibilities 
of TC and CE after this transfer. Generally speak- 
ing, military railways were in oversea commands 
and utility railways were for local operations at 
installations in the zone of interior. 



and which consequently were to remain 
under the Chief of Engineers would con- 
tinue to perform their railway functions 
until the Chief of Transportation should 
announce his readiness to take over such 
functions. 35 

The overhead personnel shifted from the 
Corps of Engineers to the Transportation 
Corps in connection with the transfer of 
railway responsibilities included 9 officers 
and 54 civilians from the Office of the Chief 
of Engineers and 94 civilian inspectors who 
had been employed in the field. 38 The Office 
of the Chief of Transportation, already 
short of personnel and suddenly confronted 
with the task of assuming a further heavy 
responsibility, claimed that additional civil- 
ians were subject to transfer, but the Chief 
of Engineers maintained that the provisions 
of the directive governing the change had 
been fulfilled. 37 

Pursuant to the directive, twenty-five 
military railway troop units, which had 
been activated or designated for acti- 
vation by the Chief of Engineers, were 
transferred to the Transportation Corps. 
These included one headquarters and head- 
quarters company, Military Railway Serv- 
ice; three headquarters and headquarters 
companies, railway grand division; eight 
railway operating battalions; three railway 
shop battalions; two railway diesel shop 
battalions; one railway transportation com- 
pany; six railway track maintenance pla- 
toons; and one railway operating detach- 

33 Memo, CG SOS for CofEngrs, 4 Nov 42, OCT 
020 Transfer of Functions. 

38 Memo for record, unsigned, 16 Dec 42; Office 
Memo 32, Civ Pers Br OCT, 1 1 Dec 42. Both in 
OCT 020 Transfer of Functions. 

37 Memo, CofT for CofEngrs, 26 Dec 42; 1st 
Ind, CofEngrs for CofT, 5 Jan 43. Both in OCT 
020 Transfer of Functions. 

ment. 38 At the time of the transfer all units 
were in the zone of interior except one diesel 
shop battalion, three track maintenance pla- 
toons, the transportation company, and the 
operating detachment, each of which had 
been dispatched to oversea stations. 

Within a few weeks after the transfer 
had become effective the basic directive 
was modified in regard to maintenance re- 
sponsibilities, and a few months later it was 
subjected to further modification and clari- 
fication. 39 The net result was that the Trans- 
portation Corps had responsibility for main- 
tenance of equipment for both military and 
utility railways, except utility railways at 
certain installations. 40 The Transportation 
Corps also had responsibility for mainte- 
nance of way on military railways and on 
utility railways which were under the direct 
control of tactical commanders and to 
which units of the military railway service 
had been assigned. The Corps of Engineers 
had responsibility for maintenance of way 
on utility railways not maintained by the 
Transportation Corps, which for all prac- 
tical purposes meant the utility railways in 
the zone of interior. The change regarding 
maintenance of way on utility railroads was 
made because the only personnel which the 
Transportation Corps had for this purpose 
was in units which were required for over- 
sea service. 41 

It was necessary to determine, particu- 
larly for procurement purposes, where the 

38 Memo, C of Mil Ry Br OCT for CofT, 19 
Nov 42, sub: Situation Rpt on Ry Tr Units, OCT 
HB Rail Div MRS. 

30 WD GO 66, Sec. II, 9 Dec 42; WD GO 17, 
Sec, II, 2 Apr 43. 

Ch. X. 

" 10 See discussion of utility railroads in 
41 Memo, C of Adm Br Rail Div OCT for C of 
Rail Div, 16 Nov 42, OCT 020 Transfer of 
Functions; Note on intraoffice routing slip by Col 
R. H. Soule, Exec for Pers and Tng OCT, 1 Dec 
42, AG 320.2 (11-4-42) GO 60. 



dividing line lay between the construction 
of military railways, a responsibility of the 
Corps of Engineers, and maintenance of 
way, a responsibility of the Transportation 
Corps. This was accomplished by negotia- 
tion between the two services, which resulted 
in agreement that the Corps of Engineers 
would be responsible in connection with 
new construction and initial rehabilitation 
for procuring and installing track items 
(such as rails, ties, and switches), bridge 
and culvert materials, structures for shop 
use, structures for fuel and water supply, 
turntables, and heavy or fixed shop equip- 
ment; that the Corps of Engineers would 
procure and stockpile such of the above 
items as might be required by the Trans- 
portation Corps for the maintenance of 
military railways; and that the Transporta- 
tion Corps would assist the Corps of En- 
gineers in estimating the over-all require- 
ment for such materials and equipment. 1 " 
Under the Chief of Engineers a head- 
quarters for the Military Railway Service 
was maintained at Fort Snelling, Minn., 
with Brig. Gen. Carl R. Gray, Jr., as General 
Manager. Its primary function was to super- 
vise the training of military railway troop 
units and to maintain relations with the com- 
mercial railroads under whose supervision 
the technical training of most of the units 
was being accomplished. Early in 1943 
General Gray and his headquarters staff 
were moved to North Africa and he as- 
sumed responsibility for the military rail- 
ways in that theater. Thereafter the Rail 
Division in the Office of the Chief of Trans- 
portation served as rear echelon for the mili- 
tary railway units which were overseas, and 
gave technical supervision to the organiza- 

4 - Memo, ACofEngrs for CofT, 16 Jan 43, sub: 
Procurement of Ry Equip; 1st Ind, ACofT for 
Supply for OCofEngrs, 6 Feb 43. Both in OCT 
020 Transfer of Functions. 

tion and training of the units which were in 
the zone of interior. General supervision of 
the training of such units was assumed by 
the Military Training Division, OCT, and 
direct control of both military and technical 
training was assigned to the commander 
of the New Orleans Port of Embarkation. 13 
The disadvantage involved in transfer- 
ring a major function after the beginning 
of hostilities was illustrated by the fact that 
eight months after the transfer of the Mili- 
tary Railway Service the Director of Railway 
Training for the Transportation Corps com- 
plained that certain elements of the Army 
had not taken cognizance of the new status 
of MRS. He reported that enlisted men who 
desired to serve with the military railways 
had been assigned to the Corps of Engineers 
in the belief that MRS still was a part of 
that organization. He reported further that, 
judging from communications received from 
enlisted men, some induction stations and 
reception centers were unaware that MRS 
existed. Confronted as he was with the 
problem of finding suitable personnel for 
an increasing number of railway troop units, 
the Director of Railway Training advocated 
that the basic directive be recirculated. The 
Adjutant General's Office demurred to this 
proposal and suggested that other means be 
utilized to disseminate information regard- 
ing the military railways to the local com- 
mands which seemed to require it. 44 The 
process of making the Chief of Transporta- 
tion's need for experienced railroad men 
known throughout the field was a gradual 

43 Interv, author with Col J. A. Appleton, C of 
Rail Div OCT, 10 Apr 43, sub: MRS, OCT HB 
Rail Div MRS : OCT Cir 49, 5 Apr 43, sub: Tnir 
of Ry Trs; OCT Cir 83, 28 Jun 43, same sub. 

" Memo, Dir of Rv Tng for Rail Div OCT, 16 
Jul 43; 2d Ind, AGO for CofT, 29 Jul 43. Both 
in OCT 020 Transfer of Functions. 



The second question which General 
Somervell placed before General Eisen- 
hower in June 1942 was whether motor 
transport should be withdrawn from the 
Quartermaster Corps and assigned to a new 
automotive corps. Eisenhower recommend- 
ed that this be done, pointing out that the 
Quartermaster Corps already had very 
broad and diverse responsibilities. 45 It is 
evident that Somervell had in mind the pos- 
sibility of establishing a new organization to 
handle motor transport, separate from both 
the Quartermaster Corps and the Trans- 
portation Service, as had been done in 
World War I. This arrangement was not 
consummated, however. The design and 
procurement of general purpose motor ve- 
hicles were transferred from the Quarter- 
master Corps to the Ordnance Department 
on 1 August 1942, and responsibility for 
the organization and training of motor 
transport troop units was left with the 
Quartermaster Corps. In September 1942 
General Gross recommended to General 
Somervell that the latter responsibility be 
assigned to the newly established Trans- 
portation Corps, but the proposal was not 
adopted at that time and the question re- 
mained in abeyance until after V-J Day. 46 

General Gross brought the matter for- 
ward again in September 1945. Having in 
mind that motor transport troop units per- 
form a necessary transportation function in 
theaters of operation and that many of 
them had been trained and utilized by the 
theater transportation officers, he said at a 
conference of his key officers, "I feel it is 
essential for us to go after the motor trans- 

45 Memo for CG SOS, 27 Jun 42, sub: ContI and 
Opn of Trans, AG 500-G, AG Adm 341 A (Opns 

413 Pencil Memo by Gross, initialed by Somervell, 
exact date not shown, sub : Reorg of Motor Trans- 
port, OCT 020 Transfer of Functions. 

portation end," and expressed the convic- 
tion that the theater commanders would 
support the change. 47 The negotiations to 
this end proceeded over a period of months 
and in July 1946 the War Department 
announced that headquarters and head- 
quarters detachments for truck battalions, 
petroleum truck companies, troop truck 
companies, aviation truck companies, and 
certain related organizations were redesig- 
nated as Transportation Corps units, and 
directed that all officers then assigned to such 
units, except medical officers, be detailed in 
the Transportation Corps and that all 
enlisted men be transferred to that corps. 4S 
Thereafter all staff functions and technical 
responsibilities pertaining to such units and 
activities, including organization and train- 
ing, were functions and responsibilities of 
the Chief of Transportation. Thus belatedly 
the military personnel for motor transport 
was brought under the same control as rail 
and water personnel and a further impor- 
tant step was taken toward the complete 
integration of Army transportation opera- 
tions, 49 

The postwar effort to extend the Trans- 
portation Corps' responsibility to the realm 
of motor equipment was only partially suc- 
cessful. A proposal submitted in September 
1946 by Maj. Gen. Edmond H. Leavey, 
Chief of Transportation, to transfer from 
the Ordnance Department to the Trans- 
portation Corps responsibility for research, 
design, development, procurement, storage, 
allocation, issue, and maintenance of general 

47 Proceedings, Port and Zone Comdrs Conf, 
27-28 Sep 45, p. 20, OCT HB TZ Gen. 

48 WD GO 77, 24 Jul 46, sub: Transfer of 
Certain Trans Functions. 

49 It will be recalled from discussion in |Ch. II 
that following WW I, the C of Trans Sv strongly 
but unsuccessfully urged the establishment of a 
transportation corps which would control all formr 
of transportation including motor. 



and special purpose wheeled vehicles was 
rejected by the War Department General 
Staff. nU The proposal contemplated that the 
design, development, and procurement of 
tanks and other tracked mobile equipment 
would remain with the Ordnance Depart- 
ment, and the reason given for its rejection 
was that this arrangement "would result in 
a loss in economy in the distribution and 
use of common automotive supply items, 
in the use of maintenance equipment and 
installations, and in the utilization of serv- 
ices of supervisory and technical personnel." 
On the other hand, the Chief of Transpor- 
tation succeeded in having his organization 
recognized as the proper authority for mak- 
ing "basic determinations of requirements" 
for administrative, line of communication, 
cargo, and personnel vehicles, and related 
equipment. 51 

The foregoing paragraphs relate particu- 
larly to motor transport troops and motor 
equipment for employment in the com- 
munication zones of theaters of operations. 
During the course of the war two important 
functions pertaining to highway transporta- 
tion in the zone of interior were assigned to 
the Chief of Transportation. In June 1942 
he was charged with the establishment and 
control of a pool of motor buses to be uti- 
lized in offsetting shortages of local commer- 
cial transportation in the vicinity of war 
industries and Army installations. In June 
1945 he was charged with the assignment 
and control of administrative vehicles uti- 
lized bv Army Service Forces installations. 52 

50 Memo, Dir SS&P WDGS for CofT, 8 Oct 46, 
WDGSP/B1 255, sub: Transfer of Responsibility 
for Research, etc., of Motor Vehicles from OD to 
TC, OCT 451. 

■"" WD Memo, 55-5-2, par. lv, 14 May 47, sub: 
OCT Org and Functions. 

The control of Army air traffic, which 
General Gross had surrendered so reluc- 
tantly in July 1942, was restored to the 
Transportation Corps after the close of 
hostilities. In his conference with key per- 
sonnel in September 1945, referred to 
above, Gross said: "Going still further, it 
[the Transportation Corps] should have con- 
trol over air priorities both for passengers 
and freight. There should be a stronger in- 
tegration in transportation than we have 
had in this war." 53 That objective was at- 
tained under his successor in December 
1946, when the Chief of Transportation was 
designated the agency to administer prior- 
ities for the War Department (as distin- 
guished from the theater commands) in 
connection with the oversea movement of 
personnel and cargo by the Air Transport 
Command, to authorize the use of commer- 
cial aircraft for oversea movements of per- 
sonnel and cargo, to route domestic move- 
ments by commercial airlines when they 
involved 40 or more persons or 5,000 pounds 
or more of cargo, and to deal directly with 
the commercial airlines in arranging move- 
ments on a common carrier basis." 14 The 
Chief of Transportation was directed to 
place a movement control officer at each 
Army port of aerial embarkation in the 
United States, who would divert move- 
ments from air to rail or water, or vice 
versa, so as to accomplish the most expedi- 
tious delivery and the best utilization of 
military airlift, utilize commercial airlift in 
case military airlift should not be available, 

These developments are discussed in 2h. X. 

53 Proceedings, Port and Field Comdrs Conf, 
2 7-28 Sep 45, p. 20. Theater chief transportation 
officers had been accorded movement control of 
nontactical air traffic by WD Cir 256, 16 Oct 43. 

' WD Memo 55-750-1, par. 3, 16 Dec 46, sub: 
Air Trans; Conf, author with Lt Col W. A. Hag- 
gerty, C of Air Contl Br Mvmts Div OCT, 22 Jun 
49, OCT HB Topic Air Trans Gen. 



and co-ordinate the activities of ports of 
aerial embarkation and ports of water em- 
barkation.' 5 The Chief of Transportation 
also was made responsible for providing the 
War Department General Staff with the in- 
formation and statistical data needed in 
determining allocations of space to theater 
commanders and the War Department, 
utilizing the airlift efficiently, and planning 
for future air transportation. 56 

The Headquarters Organization 

Since transportation was a factor affect- 
ing many Army activities, both in the War 
Department and in the field, the Office of 
the Chief of Transportation functioned on a 
broad basis. It worked with the appropriate 
divisions of the General Staff and the Army 
Service Forces headquarters to insure that 
strategic and logistic plans, when finally 
adopted, were practical from a transporta- 
tion standpoint. It translated those plans 
into terms of transportation capacity and 
control, and provided the installations, per- 
sonnel, equipment, and procedures neces- 
sary to the proper execution of the trans- 
portation mission. It directly controlled the 
execution of such phases of the transporta- 
tion mission as could be controlled most 
effectively from a central office and super- 
vised the performance of such functions as 
had been delegated to field installations. It 
co-operated with the other technical serv- 
ices of the Army, with the Navy, the War 
Shipping Administration, and other federal 
agencies concerned with transportation, and 
with the carriers, to insure that movements 
of Army personnel and supplies were exe- 

cuted promptly and efficiently. It assisted 
oversea commanders by supplying person- 
nel and equipment and developing tech- 
niques to aid them in the fulfillment of their 
many transportation responsibilities. 

The headquarters organization which the 
Chief of Transportation built up to perform 
these functions was subject to many adjust- 
ments during the course of the war. Some 
adjustments were the result of changed or 
expanded responsibilities, while others rep- 
resented attempts to improve an organiza- 
tion which had been put together hastily 
when the Transportation Service was formed 
in March 1942 by the merger of elements 
from G— 4 and the Office of the Quarter- 
master General. Some improvements which 
were desirable from the standpoint of or- 
ganization were not undertaken, because 
the practical benefits which reasonably 
could be expected did not seem' to justify the 
risk involved in disturbing vital operations 
during wartime. 57 A general conception of 
the- extent of these ad justments is gained 
by comparing Chart 1 which shows the or- 
ganization of the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation as it was on 30 June 1942, 
just prior to the establishment of the Trans- 
portation Corps, with Uhart 2 which shows 
the structure as it stood on 1 July 1945. 
Most of the organizational changes made 
between those dates were of a secondary 
nature, such as the realignment of staff 
divisions or changes within divisions, and 
these will be dealt with in the discussion 
of the activities with which they were in- 
volved. 58 At this point, therefore, only the 

35 Memo, TAG for CG AAF, CofT, etc., 27 Dec 
46, sub: Mvmt ContI Offs at Ports of Aerial Emb, 
AGAM-PM 370.5 (26 Dec 46) WDGSP/G1. 

50 WD Cir 53, Sec. I 4e, 25 Feb 47. 

57 Gross final rpt, p. 122. 

a8 The basic document on functions and organiza- 
tion is TC Pamphlet 1, Org Manual, published in 
loose-leaf form, OCT HB TC Gen Org Manuals; 
see also Adm Log of the TC, 31 Jul 45, OCT HB 
TC Gen Rpts, which traces changes in organiza- 
tion and key personnel. 





u, 2 







< s ^ 

^ w 




a; 03 u 

— O 


- * PS 



C H 



major changes which affected the principal 
supervisory offices are presented. 

The first major change in the organiza- 
tion, as it existed when the Transportation 
Corps was created, was made in the late 
fall of 1942. Previously the staff divisions 
had been grouped under two supervisory 
officers, known initially as the operations 
officer and the executive officer and later as 
assistant chiefs of transportation for opera- 
tions and for administration. At that time 
a third staff officer was added, because of 
the increased supply and training programs 
which resulted from assumption of responsi- 
bility for the military railways, and the staff 
divisions then were grouped under assistant 
chiefs of transportation for operations, for 
supply, and for personnel and training. The 
duties of the executive officer under this 
plan were confined to assisting the Chief of 
Transportation and the Deputy Chief with 
administrative matters. 

In the summer of 1943 further major or- 
ganizational changes were made, the last 
adjustments in the upper echelons during 
the war. In June of that year Brig. Gen. 
Theodore H. Dillon, Deputy Chief of 
Transportation, resigned from the Army 
because of ill health. 58 At about the same 
time Col. (later Brig. Gen.) Fremont B. 
Hodson, Assistant Chief of Transportation 
for Personnel and Training, was assigned to 
command the New Orleans Port of Em- 
barkation. With the departure of these men, 
who had played important roles in the early 
development of the Transportation Corps, 
the offices which they had held were dis- 
continued. The principal supervisory re- 
sponsibilities thereafter were distributed 
among five directors— who dealt respectively 
with transportation operations, water trans- 

59 See Memo, Gross for Somervell, 22 Mar 43, 
OCT HB Gross Offs and EM. 

portation, the various aspects of supply, 
military training, and personnel— and the 
Executive Officer. 60 

The functions and relationships of the 
several directors, staff divisions, and operat- 
ing divisions, as they existed in the late 
months of the war, are presented in some 
detail in Appendix A. These functions and 
relationships, moreover, will be discussed as 
occasion requires in subsequent chapters of 
this history. There are, however, certain 
aspects of the organizational arrangement 
in the Office of the Chief of Transportation 
which call for special comment at this point. 

The Director of Operations was the co- 
ordinator for all transportation operations. 
The basic purpose of his office was to insure 
that troop and supply movements were exe- 
cuted promptly and according to plan. The 
task was an extremely complicated one since 
it involved, in addition to the co-ordination 
of the several OCT divisions and the TC 
field installations, constant collaboration 
with the Operations Division of the General 
Staff, various divisions of Army Service 
Forces headquarters, the oversea theater 
commanders, the Navy, the civilian agencies 
which were concerned with transportation, 
and the carriers. The Director of Opera- 
tions throughout the war was Brig. Gen. 
Robert H. Wylie, a Regular Army officer 
who had had extensive experience with 
Army transportation as an officer of the 
Quartermaster Corps. General Wylie, al- 
though he worked very closely with the op- 
erating divisions during the war and co- 
ordinated their activities, did not direct 

80 There was lack of consistency during 1942-43 
in using the terms Assistant Chief of Transporta- 
tion and Director, but the term Director eventually 
was used uniformly to designate all officers in this 
echelon and the term Assistant Chief of Trans- 
portation was reserved for those directors who were 
general officers. 



them. Soon after the close of hostilities he 
was given actual direction. In explanation, 
the Chief of Transportation stated that 
while it had not seemed wise to subordinate 
the wartime chiefs of the operating divisions 
to the Director of Operations because of 
their "stature" in the transportation field, 
that consideration no longer governed and 
the new arrangement was believed to be 
"the most effective solution to certain in- 
efficiencies under the old organization." 61 
These "inefficiencies" appear to have arisen 
from the fact that some of the chiefs of op- 
erating divisions, who were topflight trans- 
portation executives commissioned from 
civil life, did not always recognize the need 
for co-ordination, or took directly to the 
Chief of Transportation matters which 
might have been disposed of more readily 
by the Director of Operations. 

The designation of a Director of Water 
Transportation in June 1943 was prompted 
by the increasing number of ocean-going 
transports and smaller boats in the service 
of the Transportation Corps and the many 
technical problems which were arising in 
connection with the construction, conver- 
sion, and operation of those vessels. While 
this officer had general supervision of all 
water transportation activities of the Trans- 
portation Corps, including the work of the 
Water Division, he was responsible more 
particularly for collaboration with the 
Maritime Commission, the Navy Depart- 
ment, and the various committees of the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined 
Chiefs of Staff, in determining the types and 
designs of vessels to be constructed and in 
promoting other technical developments 

61 Ltr, CofT to Brig Gen William J. Williamson 
(Ret), wartime C of Traf Contl Div OCT, 21 Feb 
46, OCT 020 Org of TC; Ltr, Wylie to author, 10 
Mar 50, OCT HB Dir of Opns. 

pertaining to floating equipment and port 
facilities. This latter activity covered a wide 
range of projects, some of which were car- 
ried to completion while others were dis- 
carded or were still being considered when 
hostilities ceased. 02 From its inception the 
office of Director of Water Transportation 
was held by Brig. Gen. (later Maj. Gen.) 
John M. Franklin, a veteran of World War 
I who was president of one of the larger 
American steamship companies at the time 
of our entry into World War II. 

The functions performed by the other 
directors are fairly apparent from their 
titles. In the selection of men to fill these 
positions, experience as well as other quali- 
fications was taken into account. Col. Harry 
A. Toulmin, Jr., the first Director of Ma- 
teriel and Supply, had had experience with 
Army procurement during World War I 
and with various civilian engineering activ- 
ities between the wars. Brig. Gen. Burton 
O. Lewis, who succeeded to this position 
early in 1944, had served previously as 
Chief of the Boston Ordnance District. Col. 
Frank C. Scofield, the first Director of 
Military Training, and Col. Geoffrey C. 
Bunting who succeeded him early in 1945, 
had been engaged in training activities in 
the Coast Artillery Corps. Col. Herbert B. 
Wilcox, prior to his designation as Director 
of Personnel, had been Chief of the Military 
Personnel Division in the Office of the Chief 
of Transportation. Col. Charles E. Martin, 
who became Director of Personnel in De- 
cember 1944, had served previously as 
Chief of the Industrial Personnel Division, 
OCT, and before the war had specialized in 
industrial management as a civilian. 

152 Memo, Asst to Dir of Water Trans for Exec 
Asst OCT, 22 Mar 44, OCT HB Dir of Water 



The position of Executive Officer ac- 
quired added importance after the reorgan- 
ization which took place in the summer of 
1943. General Gross then was endeavoring 
to relieve himself as much as possible of 
the burdens of administration, and one 
means to that end was to assign additional 
responsibility to his Executive. Lt. Col. 
(later Col.) Luke W. Finlay, who assumed 
the position at that time, had been gradu- 
ated from the U.S. Military Academy, had 
served for a period in the Corps of En- 
gineers, and then had taken up a legal 
career in civil life. Gross and Finlay had 
worked together during earlier Army assign- 
ments and the mutual understanding that 
existed between them facilitated their war- 
time collaboration. As developed under Fin- 
lay, the duties of the Executive Officer 
included the co-ordination of matters involv- 
ing two or more divisions which were not 
under the jurisdiction of a single director, 
the disposition of executive matters which 
in his judgment did not require the personal 
attention of the Chief of Transportation, the 
preparation of data bearing on matters re- 
quiring action by the Chief, and such spe- 
cial tasks as General Gross chose to assign 
to him. 

The terms "staff divisions" and "operat- 
ing divisions," as applied to the Office of 
the Chief of Transportation, were more con- 
venient than they were accurate. To a large 
extent the work of the operating divisions 
consisted in supervision of the field installa- 
tions and the carriers. The work of certain 
of the staff divisions gave them a direct and 
sometimes decisive influence on operations. 
The operating divisions, as will be observed 
from Chart 2, were set up to correspond to 
specific types of transportation or transpor- 
tation functions. The staff organization, 
consisting of directors and divisions, par- 

alleled to a large degree the organization of 
Army Service Forces headquarters. The 
latter arrangement simplified co-ordination 
between the OCT and ASF staffs, and was 
encouraged by General Somervell. 

It is worthy of note that for a period the 
Office of the Chief of Transportation in- 
cluded a unit to deal with petroleum and 
petroleum products. During the early stages 
of the war the arrangements for handling 
these commodities on behalf of the armed 
services were not fully developed. Since 
liquid fuels and lubricants were essential to 
the operation of transportation equipment, 
and since the Chief of Transportation was 
responsible for their movement to the forces 
overseas (except bulk movements in tank 
vessels), General Gross soon after the estab- 
lishment of his office set up a staff to study 
the subject. Its duties included the co- 
ordination of information on sources of sup- 
ply and means of transportation, the trans- 
lation of plans for troop movements into 
requirements for petroleum products, study 
of the problem of petroleum supply as it 
affected or might affect military transporta- 
tion, and the development of procedures 
and instructions for the safe and expedi- 
tious handling of shipments at intransit 
storage depots and ports of embarkation. 133 

The Petroleum Branch attacked the 
problems assigned to it on a very broad 
basis, but soon found that to a considerable 
extent it was duplicating work done else- 
where. 04 The establishment of the Army- 
Navy Petroleum Board in July 1942, the 
increased attention given to this field by 
various headquarters divisions of the Army 

03 OCT Adm Memo 62, 16 Jun 42. 

04 Hist Rec, Petroleum Br, to 30 Jun 42, OCT 
HB Development and Liaison Div; Memo, Col 
John H. Leavell for CofT, 4 Mar 44, reviews some 
of his proposals as C of Petroleum Br and their 
results, OCT HB Gross Petroleum. 



Service Forces, and the broadening of the 
responsibilities of The Quartermaster Gen- 
eral relieved the Chief of Transportation of 
the necessity of pursuing the studies which 
he had launched, and in May 1943 the per- 
sonnel of the Petroleum Branch was trans- 
ferred to the Office of the Quartermaster 
General," 5 The responsibilities which re- 
mained with the Chief of Transportation 
related solely to the movement of fuels and 
lubricants in containers to oversea destina- 
tions, and the supervision of that activity 
was assigned to the Water Division. 6 " 

Although initially all personnel of the 
Office of the Chief of Transportation were 
located in Washington, toward the end of 
the war more than a third were working in 
other cities. The dispersion began in the 
spring of 1943 when a general effort was 
being made to move elements of the War 
Department away from Washington in 
order to relieve congestion in the Capital, 
and eventually substantial numbers of OCT 
personnel were located in New York and 
Cincinnati and a smaller number stationed 
at Baltimore." 7 This separation of personnel 
from headquarters had disadvantages from 
an administrative standpoint, but there also 
were some advantages. The location of the 
production staff of the supply organization 
in Cincinnati gave it access to a better mar- 
ket for technical workers than had been 
available in Washington. Units concerned 
with ship conversions and military baggage 
found New York a convenient base for their 

In the beginning of this chapter the state- 
ment is made that between 31 July 1942, 

when the Transportation Corps was estab- 
lished, and 30 June 1945, the total of the 
TC military personnel in the zone of interior 
and in the theaters, plus the other military 
personnel and civilian workers employed at 
TC installations in the zone of interior, in- 
creased more than 400 percent. During the 
same period the personnel of the Office of 
the Chief of Transportation increased about 
80 percent, or from 1,714 to 3,O70. f,s The 
largest group in the TC headquarters was 
the one concerned with the various aspects of 
supply, and it comprised about one-third 
of the total personnel. The Traffic Control 
Division, which dealt with all phases of 
Army traffic in the zone of interior, was 
next in size with over 600. The distribution 
of OCT personnel by locations and divisions 
in early 1945, on dates fo r which t he data 
are available, is shown in Table 1. 

The Chief of Transportation and 
His Policies 

Although the personality and the policies 
of the Chief of Transportation are reflected 
throughout this history of the Transporta- 
tion Corps, a brief summary at this point 
may help in the interpretation of develop- 
ments. 1 '" Charles P. Gross was born in 1889. 
Graduated from Cornell University in 1910 
and from the United States Military Acad- 
emy in 1914, he was commissioned a second 
lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and 
served with that organization until 1941. 
While with the American Expeditionary 
Forces in France during World War I, he 

R " ASF Adm Memo S -20, 20 Mar 43 ; ASF Cir 
33, 26 May 43. 

66 OCT Office Order 5-15, 23 Jun 43. 

U7 See Adm Log of the TC, 31 Jul 45, OCT HB 
TC Gen Rpts. 

^Statistical Summary, TC, 15 Oct 42, p. 10, 
OCT HB MPR; Rpt, Dir of Pers OCT, Status of 
Pers, 30 Jun 45, OCT HB Dir of Pers, Pers Statis- 

fin This section based partly on author's study of 
records of OCT and partly on his observations as 
a member of OCT executive staff. 



Table 1 — Distribution of Personnel of the Office of the 
Chief of Transportation: Designated Dates in 1945 

Location and Division 

In Washington (28 February 1945) 

Office of the Chief 

Office, Director of Operations . . . . . 

Director of Water Transportation and Water Division" 

Director of Supply and Subordinate Divisions' 1 

Traffic Control Division" 

Rail Division , 

Highway Division" . 

Transit Storage Division 

Movements Division 

Planning Division 

Port and Field Agencies Division 

International Division 

Intelligence and Security Division' 1 

Office, Director of Personnel 

Military Personnel Division 

Industrial Personnel Division 

Director of Military Training and Military Training Division 

Control Division 

Fiscal Division e 

Legal Division e 

Administrative Division 

Outside Washington (31 March 1945) 

New York 












* Personnel also in New York. 

b Personnel also in New York and Cincinnati. 

All but the division chief and his executive staff was in New York. 

d Personnel also in New York. Unit of Intelligence and Security Division located in Baltimore in April 1945. 
Personnel also in Cincinnati. 

Source: Memo, CofT for CG ASF, 21 Mar 45; Rpt, TC Personnel, 31 Mar 45, by Dir of Pers OCT. Both in OCT HB Dir 
of Pers, Pers Statistics. 



attained the temporary rank of colonel. His 
assignment between the wars included two 
tours of duty in Nicaragua in connection 
with the Nicaraguan Canal Survey and cer- 
tain highway projects. Gross was designated 
chief of the Transportation Branch, G-4, 
War Department General Staff, in April 
1941, Chief of Transportation when that 
office was created in March 1 942, and com- 
mander of the Transportation Corps when 
it was established in July 1942. He attained 
the temporary rank of major general in 
August 1942. 

Gross had a clear realization of the im- 
portance of efficient transportation in the 
accomplishment of the military mission. He 
repeatedly importuned the members of his 
staff that they never lose a "sense of ur- 
gency" in the performance of their duties; 
never overlook a detail that might contrib- 
ute to the prompt and safe movement of 
troops and supplies, or might facilitate the 
procurement of transportation equipment 
or the training of transportation personnel. 
He pointed out that a faltering transporta- 
tion system would adversely affect every 
other phase of the Army's operations, in the 
zone of interior and overseas. 

The full integration of Army transporta- 
tion was a cardinal point of doctrine with 
General Gross. The dispersion of transpor- 
tation responsibility was in his opinion a 
source of weakness. Integration implied that 
all nontactical transportation for the Army 
should be under the control of a single 
agency and that the control should extend 
unbroken from the points where troop and 
supply movements originated in the zone of 
interior to the oversea discharge ports. 
Such integration involved not only the 
establishment of policies and procedures by 
a single headquarters in Washington, but 
actual direction by that headquarters of the 

field installations necessary to carry those 
policies and procedures into effect. As 
earlier discussion has shown, the Chief of 
Transportation's ideas regarding integration 
were largely but not completely realized 
during the war. 

General Gross believed that, although 
control of the transportation resources of 
the nation was vested by the President in 
civilian agencies, the armed forces should 
have first claim on those resources to the 
extent that they were needed for the ac- 
complishment of approved military objec- 
tives, and that nonessential civilian trans- 
portation services should be curtailed or 
eliminated when that was necessary in 
order to meet the military requirements. In 
his effort to make this view effective he took 
issue with the civilian agencies from time 
to time on their interpretation of what con- 
stituted essential civilian services. 

The extremely critical position of ship- 
ping because of heavy losses through sub- 
marine activity and constantly mounting 
military requirements was emphasized by 
General Gross from the beginning. "Ship- 
ping is the key to the war effort," he said 
repeatedly; therefore he cast his influence 
in support of the maximum construction 
program for merchant vessels consistent 
with the requirements of other military 
programs and urged that the available bot- 
toms be utilized with the greatest possible 
efficiency. He was strongly of the opinion 
that his responsibility for keeping the over- 
sea forces properly supplied, with the use 
of the minimum amount of shipping, could 
be fulfilled best if the vessels for this pur- 
pose were placed under his control, and he 
was not content with the situation which 
required him to move a large part of the 
Army's supplies for the Pacific Ocean Areas 
in vessels controlled by the Navy. 



The Chief of Transportation had a high 
sense of his responsibility to the theater 
commanders, not only for the prompt deliv- 
ery of troops and maintenance supplies but 
also for the provision of transportation 
troop units properly organized and trained 
for the performance of their functions and 
transportation equipment properly designed 
for the type of service that would be re- 
quired of it. He urged his staff to be "im- 
mediately responsive" to theater needs. This 
meant anticipating the needs insofar as pos- 
sible and acting promptly when the requests 
were received. An Oversea Operations 
Group was set up in his office, which had 
for its sole purpose the expeditious process- 
ing of requests from overseas and the co- 
ordination of the efforts of the several divi- 
sions which were required to act on them. 
Gross made a number of visits to the active 
theaters in order to better understand their 
problems and to impress upon them the 
readiness of his organization to be of serv- 
ice. He arranged for his principal assistants 
to make similar trips. 

Because of the great emphasis which 
General Gross placed on the maintenance 
of close relations with the theaters, it is 
worth while to present his doctrine in his 
own words. On the occasion of the second 
anniversary of the Transportation Corps 
he said: "Above all, we have had to be 
immediately responsive to the needs of the 
theater commanders. Tactical requirements 
vary widely with the theaters; they change 
within the theaters as the point of attack 
moves forward from one area to another. 
Always, they have an urgency that domi- 
nates all our efforts. Whether backing Mac- 
Arthur in the Southwest Pacific, Stilwell in 
China and India, Devers in Italy or Eisen- 
hower in France, we must be flexible and 
fast. All this lends fascination and excite- 

ment to our job. It gives us a sense of near- 
ness to the theater commanders and a 
keener appreciation of the vital importance 
of our role." 70 

Adequate officer personnel, qualitatively 
and quantitatively, was a constant problem 
and one to which General Gross gave much 
personal attention. The fact that the Chief 
of Transportation's organization was a war- 
time creation and was required to expand 
rapidly as hostilities progressed, meant that 
key positions had to be filled by assignments 
from other services or by drafts on the civil- 
ian transportation industries. After the 
United States had entered the war the 
chiefs of the other services naturally were 
reluctant to part with good officers, and the 
Chief of Transportation was forced to turn 
almost entirely to the ranks of industry to 
build up the staffs of his own office and the 
field installations. In this he was handi- 
capped by lack of advance planning such 
as the older services had been privileged to 
do and by wartime personnel ceilings. 

When, as the forces began moving over- 
seas, the theater and base commanders be- 
gan calling on the Chief of Transportation 
for experienced men to build up their trans- 
portation organizations, Gross considered it 
his duty to fill these requests to the best of 
his ability. Sometimes the men were taken 
directly from industry, but often they were 
transferred from stations under his com- 
mand. While willing to give up good men 
to the theaters, Gross was careful not to 
denude his own organization of competent 
leadership. He did not hesitate to deny the 
requests of oversea commanders for specific 
officers whom he considered irreplaceable 
in the jobs which they were doing. In the 
early part of the war he also stood firm 
against the requests of some of his key of- 

70 Remarks, 31 Jul 44, OCT HB TC Gen Misc. 



ficers who desired to leave desk jobs for 
field commands. Before the close of hostil- 
ities, however, General Gross arranged for 
many of his officers to receive oversea as- 
signments in order that their experience 
might be broadened. 

In the use of his key personnel Gross was 
guided by one consideration— results. When 
an officer did not measure up to his assign- 
ment, he was relieved. On one occasion he 
was heard to say to an officer who was pro- 
testing his removal from a port command, 
that unless he (Gross) was free to employ 
personnel as he considered best, he did not 
want the responsibility of heading the 
Transportation Corps. While the com- 
manders of Transportation Corps installa- 
tions were allowed broad latitude in carry- 
ing out the policies established at head- 
quarters, disregard of those policies was not 

A significant side light on the Chief of 
Transportation's personnel policy is seen in 
the fact that after the termination of hostil- 
ities in Europe the commander of the New 
York Port of Embarkation, who had been 
eminently successful in supporting the Euro- 
pean theater, was transferred to the com- 
mand of the San Francisco Port of Em- 
barkation so that he might bring the bene- 
fit of his experience to bear on the opera- 
tions against Japan— this notwithstanding 
the fact that the officer transferred from 
San Francisco was considered a successful 
port commander. Although intensely loyal 
to his staff, Gross tried to subordinate senti- 
ment and personal preference to military 
considerations. He remarked to one of his 
senior officers, in the discussion of a matter 
which involved personal preferences, that 
if they could not decide the question on its 
merits they were getting too old for the 

While believing strongly that the control 
of transportation should be centralized, 
General Gross decentralized his operating 
responsibilities insofar as practical. He 
vested a large amount of operating author- 
ity in the ports of embarkation and the 
transportation zones in order to relieve the 
operating divisions of his own office, but 
he saw limits beyond which decentraliza- 
tion was not feasible. He refused, for ex- 
ample, to sanction a proposal to establish 
"a superior headquarters" on the Pacific 
coast to supervise the ports of embarkation 
in that area, since that would have intro- 
duced an additional and unnecessary eche- 
lon. He was unwilling to delegate to a joint 
committee of Army, Navy, and War Ship- 
ping Administration representatives at San 
Francisco the authority to make allocations 
of shipping to the various services in the 
Pacific, since that function had broad policy 
implications and therefore could be best 
performed by the headquarters organiza- 
tions in Washington. 

Although he delegated his authority 
freely, General Gross kept the affairs of his 
organization under close observation. He 
expected his Control Division to provide 
information regarding the progress of the 
work, and particularly any phases of it 
that seemed to be lagging. Under normal 
circumstances he held a group conference 
with the key members of his staff once each 
week, at which time he informed them of 
matters that had been decided or were 
under consideration by Army Service Forces 
headquarters or the General Staff. These 
meetings also enabled his directors and 
division chiefs to exchange information re- 
garding their problems and to co-ordinate 
their operations. Except for these meetings, 
which became less frequent toward the end 
of the war, he called in his assistants only 



as their attention to specific matters was 
required. It was generally understood, how- 
ever, that his door was always open to them 
when they desired his counsel. Gross was 
friendly but direct in his manner; he was 
objective in his approach to problems, and 
he appreciated similar tactics on the part of 
his assistants. 

The strong conviction which he held re- 
garding the necessity for an efficient Army 
transportation service, and the acute prob- 
lems which he encountered as the head of a 
war-born organization, made Gross a strong 
advocate of placing the Transportation 
Corps on a permanent basis. This he con- 
sidered necessary in order that a staff of 
competent transportation officers might 
always be available as the nucleus of a 
wartime organization, and that that organ- 
ization might have a recognized place in 
the military establishment. A permanent 
Transportation Corps was considered de- 
sirable also in order that comprehensive 
planning might be pursued and transporta- 
tion equipment and methods developed to 
match the technological developments in 
other branches of military service. During 
the fall of 1943 the Special Planning Divi- 
sion of the War Department Special Staff 
prepared a study looking to the perpetua- 
tion of the Transportation Corps. 71 When 
the study was presented to General Gross 
for concurrence some months later, he ex- 
pressed complete agreement with the con- 
clusion that the war had demonstrated the 
need for a permanent Transportation Corps, 
but suggested that it would be premature to 
request the necessary legislation at that time 
and that such a request should be part of 

71 See data prepared in OCT in Oct 43, at re- 
quest of SPD WDGS, sub: Historical and Other 
Information Bearing upon Proposal to Establish 
Permanent TC, OCT HB TC Gen Postwar Ping. 

a more comprehensive proposal for the re- 
organization of the Army following the ter- 
mination of hostilities. 72 That course of 
action was adopted as the more practical. 73 

Relations with Other Elements of the 
Army Service Forces 

Since effective transportation planning 
and operations were vital to the smooth exe- 
cution of the troop and supply programs of 
the Army Service Forces, the Chief of 
Transportation functioned to a degree as a 
member of the ASF headquarters staff, as 
well as a technical service chief. This be- 
ing so, his relationship with the command- 
ing general of the Army Service Forces was 
of special significance. It was in all respects 
a cordial and co-operative association. Gen- 
erals Somervell and Gross had been class- 
mates at the Military Academy. Both were 
engineers by training. They saw eye to eye 
on the proposition that transportation was 
an essential and at the same time a highly 
critical item in our military potential. To 
be sure, Somervell, because of the broad 
range of his responsibilities, sometimes had 
to moderate his opinion regarding the quan- 
tity of transportation equipment to be pro- 
duced, in order that other essential military 
requirements might be met. Basically, how- 
ever, he and Gross were together in the 
conviction that for a successful prosecution 
of the war adequate transportation was a 
sine qua non. 

72 Memo, CofT for Dir SPD WDGS, 1 Mar 44, 
sub: Estab of TC on Permanent Basis, OCT 321. 

73 In Jan 46, in order to allay uneasiness among 
personnel due to temporary status of TC, CofT ob- 
tained from CofS USA statement that WD favored 
and would seek establishment of permanent TC. 
Memo, C of T for Pres WD Bd to Study Org, 7 
Jan 46, Sub: Recommendations under Reorg Act 
of 1945, OCT 321; OCT Misc Ltr 26, 8 Feb 46, 
sub: Continuation of TC, OCT HB TC Gen Post- 
war Ping; WD Cir 218, Sec. IV, 20 Jul 46. 



Because of the importance which he at- 
tached to the results, Somervell took an 
active hand in high-level negotiations with 
the other government agencies concerned 
with transportation, such as the Navy with 
which the Army had constant dealings on 
both the policy and the operating levels, the 
War Shipping Administration which con- 
trolled the major portion of the American 
merchant marine, and the Office of Defense 
Transportation which regulated the inland 
carriers. He participated in the discussion 
of matters of broad logistical significance 
which were being considered by the Joint 
and Combined Military Transportation 
Committees, on which he and Gross were 
the War Department representatives. Som- 
ervell sometimes entered into the negotia- 
tions with the Association of American Rail- 
roads on matters of exceptional importance. 
The communications on such matters, 
which were signed by Somervell or for- 
warded by him to the Secretary of War, the 
Under Secretary, or the Chief of Staff for 
signature, usually were prepared by the 
Chief of Transportation or his principal 
assistants. Sometimes these communications 
were modified by General Somervell; fre- 
quently they were signed as submitted. It 
naturally is impossible to judge how far the 
policies which the communications enunci- 
ated had been formulated by Somervell or 
Gross, or had been arrived at jointly. It is 
clear, however, that the premises upon 
which the policies were based usually were 
developed in the Office of the Chief of 

Somervell kept current transportation op- 
erations under close observation. From his 
vantage point as head of the Army's supply 
organization and a close collaborator with 
the Chief of Staff, he could foresee many of 

the demands which future military opera- 
tions would make on transportation, and 
he issued instructions to insure that ade- 
quate preparations were made for meeting 
them. During his visits to the theaters of 
operation he took note of transportation 
problems and deficiencies and directed that 
means be found for coping with them. 74 
He had the monthly progress reports deal- 
ing with transportation carefully analyzed 
and called upon the Chief of Transporta- 
tion for explanations of conditions which 
from the statistics appeared unsatisfactory 
or dubious. Such communications covered 
a wide range of points. For example, a 
memorandum to Gross regarding the report 
for February 1943 raised questions about 
the turnaround time of ships in the service 
to North Africa, the marked increase in the 
number of special trains being used for 
troop movements, the length of time freight 
cars were held for unloading at ports of 
embarkation, the high percentage of un- 
used warehouse space under the control of 
the Transportation Corps, and the failure 
of deliveries of certain items of transporta- 
tion equipment to approach the forecast. 
The Chief of Transportation's replies to 
such inquiries, in addition to explaining the 
circumstances, stated the actions being 
taken to correct unsatisfactory conditions. 75 
The constant pressure which Somervell 
placed on Gross in regard to matters general 
and specific reflected the technique of his 
administration rather than a lack of con- 
fidence in the transportation organization. 
This is evident from a letter which he wrote 

74 See file, Somervell Trip to Africa (Jan-Feb 
43), OCT HB Exec; see also file, Somervell's Trip 
to Theaters Oct-Nov 43, OCT HB Theaters Gen. 

75 See Memo, CG ASF to CofT, 23 Mar 43, and 
reply, 31 Mar 43, with atchd statement relating to 
points mentioned, OCT 319.1 MPR. 



in connection with the second anniversary 
of the establishment of the Transportation 
Corps. Saluting Gross as "Dear Charlie," 
he said in part, "I feel that the second birth- 
day of the Transportation Corps should not 
pass without my indicating to you infor- 
mally my appreciation of the magnificent job 
that you, your immediate staff, and all the 
officers and enlisted personnel of the Trans- 
portation Corps have done in the past year." 
Addressing his reply to "Dear Bill," Gross 
said, "Your thoughtfulness in remembering 
our anniversary will quicken our determina- 
tion to measure up in full to every assign- 
ment and expectation." 76 

Even while General Gross was striving to 
bring under his control functions assigned 
to other services, which he felt properly be- 
longed to the Transportation Corps, he was 
under the necessity of combating efforts by 
other elements of the Army Service Forces 
to withdraw functions from his jurisdiction. 
Reference has been made to the unsuccess- 
ful attempt of the ASF Director of Opera- 
tions to absorb the Chief of Transportation's 
Planning Division. The difficulty, however, 
was chiefly in the field. There was a senti- 
ment in some quarters that the ports of em- 
barkation and the transportation zones 
should be under the control of the service 
commands, rather than exempted stations 
under the Chief of Transportation. Even 
after these basic issues had been decided in 
favor of the Chief of Transportation he did 
not have clear sailing. A considerable period 
was required to establish proper working 
relations between some of the service com- 
manders and the corresponding zone trans- 
portation officers. Again, it was argued that 
the holding and reconsignment points per- 

7fi Ltr, Somervell to Gross, 2 Aug 44, and reply, 
4 Aug 44, ASF Hq Trans 1944. 

formed essentially a storage function and 
should be under service command control. 
Efforts were made to transfer such impor- 
tant activities as the co-ordination of over- 
sea supply and the staging of troops from 
the control of the commanders of the ports 
of embarkation. The firm stand which Gen- 
eral Gross took in these matters was sup- 
ported by General Somervell and by his 
chief of staff, General Styer. On the other 
hand, certain unit training centers utilized 
by the Transportation Corps were placed 
under the operating control of the service 
commands contrary to the desires of the 
Chief of Transportation. 

The relationship between the correspond- 
ing divisions in the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation and Army Service Forces 
headquarters were close. The necessity for 
thorough co-operation was fully recognized 
by General Gross and his aides, since trans- 
portation affected many phases of the ASF 
responsibility. They believed, however, that 
the ASF divisions should confine themselves 
to staff work, and they sometimes chafed 
under what they considered unwarranted 
intrusions into operations. Gross took the 
position that once plans had been approved 
by ASF headquarters and the War Depart- 
ment General Staff, and after his organiza- 
tion had been given a technical task to per- 
form, the Transportation Corps should be 
wholly responsible for the execution of that 
task and free to act without interference. 
The objection to interference was particu- 
larly strong with reference to the execution 
of troop and supply novements, in which 
case it was felt that the ASF Director of 
Operations was endeavoring to interpose 
his office between the Chief of Transporta- 
tion and the Operations Division of the 
General Staff, and in so doing was assuming 
technical transportation functions which did 



not properly belong to his office and could 
not be performed properly by it." 

In an earlier chapter it was stated that 
before and during the early part of the war 
it was necessary to take vigorous steps to 
prevent other technical services from dis- 
regarding the established transportation 
prerogatives in their efforts to expedite the 
movement of their supplies and personnel. 
This ceased to be a problem after the Trans- 
portation Corps became well established. 
There remained, however, the problem of 
obtaining full compliance at technical serv- 
ice installations with the sound transporta- 
tion practices which the Chief of Trans- 
portation had undertaken to set up. The 
Traffic Control Division, referring chiefly 
to movements by rail, pointed out that since 
the Transportation Corps operated on the 
same level of authority as the other tech- 
nical services, the only means it had of en- 
forcing its standards in such matters as the 
loading and discharging of cars, the docu- 
mentation of shipments, and the use of 
intransit rates, was by persuasion or by ob- 
taining directives from Army Service Forces 
headquarters. The division indicated that 
either method was time-consuming, since 
it frequently involved convincing officers 
regarding technical matters concerning 
which they had no practical knowledge. 78 

Gross had a large degree of freedom in 
the organization and management of his 
office after the initial structure had been 
established. From time to time, however, 
ASF headquarters made its influence 
strongly felt. As has been indicated, that 

77 Gross final rpt, p. 125; see also Memo, Exec 
OCT (Finlay) for Dir of Opns OCT (Wylie), 26 
Oct 43, sub: Establishment of Trans Co-ordination 
Sec, OCT HB Exec Staybacks. 

7S See Memo, C of Gen Sv Br Traf Contl Div 
OCT for C of Traf Contl Div, 25 Sep 45, sub: Rpt 
on Accomplishments and Handicaps, OCT HB Traf 
Contl Div. Gen. 

headquarters desired that the Chief of 
Transportation's staff divisions be organized 
to parallel its own divisions in order to 
simplify the processes of co-ordination. The 
ASF Control Division was constantly en- 
gaged in studying the organizations and 
methods of the technical services and recom- 
mending improvements to General Somer- 
vell. Gross was fully convinced of the value 
of the control function as conceived by 
Somervell, and readily followed the ASF 
behest to establish corresponding divisions 
in his own headquarters and principal field 
installations. On the other hand, it some- 
times was felt in the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation that the ASF Control Divi- 
sion's recommendations missed the mark 
because they were not based on an adequate 
understanding of transportation techniques 
and that the necessity of analyzing and re- 
butting them added an unwarranted bur- 
den to the already heavy duties of the Chief 
of Transportation and his assistants. Gross 
cleared with Somervell before making as- 
signments and reassignments affecting the 
more important transportation positions, 
but only one instance has come to the au- 
thor's attention in which a key figure in the 
Transportation Corps was relieved at the 
insistence of ASF headquarters and against 
the convictions of the Chief of Transporta- 

After the establishment of the Services 
of Supply in March 1942 the Under Sec- 
retary did not take an active part in the 
management of transportation, but his in- 
terest in that aspect of logistics continued. 
In the fall of 1942 he appointed Col. James 
H. Graham (Ret.) as special consultant to 
keep him informed on transportation mat- 
ters. 79 Graham already had placed himself 

70 See Ltr, USW to Graham, 12 Sep 45, OCT HB 



informally at the disposal of General Somer- 
vell, with whom he had been associated in 
World War I. He had a keen interest in 
transportation and a strong desire to help the 
Transportation Corps fulfill its mission. He 
had observed the transportation failures of 
1 9 1 7—1 8 and was eager to avoid a repetition 
of them. The files disclose many informal 
observations by Graham on the progress and 
problems of the Transportation Corps, and 
some reports on conditions and projects 
which apparently were made at Somervell's 
request. During the periods when he was in 
Washington, Graham visited Gross in his 
office almost daily and discussed transporta- 
tion developments at length. He soon be- 
came convinced of Gross's ability to ad- 
minister the heavy task that had been as- 
signed to him, and while Gross was still a 
brigadier general, Graham recommended to 
Somervell that the Chief of Transportation 
should have rank equal to that of the chiefs 
of the other technical services. 80 Probably 
the greatest service he performed was to 
impress upon all with whom he came in 
contact the desirability of an integrated 
transportation service- the centralization of 
all transportation functions under the con- 
trol of one agency. 81 

Relations with the Oversea Commands 

The relations of the Chief of Transporta- 
tion in Washington with the oversea com- 
mands can be grouped into two broad cate- 
gories : ( 1 ) those incident to the delivery of 
combat and service troops and materiel to 
oversea ports to meet theater requirements, 
and ( 2 ) those incident to helping the over- 
sea commanders to build up their port op- 

80 Memo, handwritten and undated but evidently 
written about 1 Jul 42, ASF Hq Trans 1942. 

n See Memo, Graham for Somervell, 13 Oct 42, 
OCT HB Gross-Graham. 

crations and their intratheater lines of com- 
munication so that men and supplies would 
move in orderly fashion from shipside to 
camps and dumps and thence eventually to 
the combat areas. The importance of these 
functions to the successful conduct of mili- 
tary operations is obvious. The emphasis 
which General Gross placed on the re- 
sponsiveness of his organization to the thea- 
ter commanders' needs was therefore basic 
to the successful performance of his task. 

In building up close working relation- 
ships with the theaters, Gross found the 
newness of the Transportation Corps a 
handicap. During a trip to various theaters 
in the fall of 1943, which began in the 
South Pacific, he observed that the corps 
was "hardly known" at the various bases. 82 
Along with this general observation, he 
noted that officers were unable to obtain 
Transportation Corps insignia and that 
ship's manifests and other official documents 
still bore the inscription of the Quarter- 
master Corps. Gross instructed his head- 
quarters to take immediate steps to correct 
these conditions and to find means of gain- 
ing recognition for the Transportation 
Corps in the oversea commands. These ob- 
jectives were accomplished only gradually, 
and less rapidly in some theaters than in 

Failure of some oversea commanders to 
establish proper transportation organiza- 
tions and to give them adequate authority 
was another handicap which General Gross 
encountered. This not only affected the 
efficiency of theater transportation opera- 
tions, but it rendered more difficult the co- 
operation of the Chief of Transportation in 
Washington with the chief transportation 
officers overseas. Although the preoccupa- 

82 Memo, Gross for Wylie, 20 Sep 43, OCT HB 
Wylie Ltrs from Gross. 



tion of the theater commanders with purely 
military matters was a factor, basically this 
defect was traceable to the Army field serv- 
ice regulations, which were not modified 
promptly to embrace the concept of an in- 
tegrated transportation service such as had 
been established in the zone of interior. The 
field service regulations in effect when most 
theater organizations were taking shape 
stated that water transportation was a re- 
sponsibility of the Quartermaster Corps, 
rail transportation a responsibility of the 
Chief Engineer, motor transportation the 
responsibility of a Motor Transport Service 
(which had no counterpart in the zone of 
interior), inland waterway transportation a 
responsibility of the Corps of Engineers, and 
air transportation a responsibility of the Air 
Corps, while the co-ordination of the several 
means of transportation and the provision 
of a plan for controlling traffic were respon- 
sibilities of G— 4 of the headquarters com- 
manding the area. 83 With this archaic doc- 
trine still in circulation, it is not surprising 
that, despite the personal efforts of Generals 
Somervell and Gross to make their views 
known to the oversea commanders, the ar- 
rangements in the theaters for dealing with 
transportation and traffic were divergent 
and in some cases unsatisfactory. 

Gross took early cognizance of the need 
for a revision of the field service regulations, 
but was handicapped in proposing changes 
by the fact that his own organization was in 
a state of flux both as regards functions and 
structure. 81 Even after the establishment of 
the Transportation Corps the process of 
change was slow, and the first revision, 

fi3 FM 100-10, Field Service Regulations, Ad- 
ministration, 9 Dec 40, pars. 32, 105, 106, 123, 132; 
see Gross final rpt, p. 73. 

84 Memo, Opns Off OCT for Tng Br, 3 May 43, 
sub: Revision of FM 100-10, SPTSA 461-A (FM 
100-10), OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 

published in October 1943, was not wholly 
adequate. This directive, which dealt 
broadly with the reorganization of corps 
headquarters and organic troops, was de- 
veloped in the General Staff and Army 
Service Forces headquarters, and the section 
pertaining to transportation failed to deal 
with some of the problems which had been 
claiming the attention of the Chief of 
Transportation. 85 It recognized the theater 
transportation service as including the Of- 
fice of the Chief of Transportation, the 
Military Railway Service, the Motor Trans- 
port Service, the Inland Waterway Service, 
and the Coastwise Transportation Service, 
and it provided that theater air transport, 
insofar as it was a nontactical means of 
transportation, should function under the 
operational (movement) control of the 
theater chief of transportation. The basic 
fault of the directive was its failure to state 
explicitly the place of the theater chief of 
transportation in the theater organization 
and to establish safeguards against his be- 
ing subordinated to other theater agencies 
or handicapped by lack of control over 
transportation in the base sections. 

The drawbacks experienced by trans- 
portation officers in the respective theaters 
will be discussed in detail in the third vol- 
ume of Transportation Corps history, but in 
order to illustrate the problem brief state- 
ments regarding three major commands are 
incorporated here. In the North African 
Theater of Operations, later known as the 
Mediterranean theater, the Allied Forces 
headquarters, the U.S. Army headquarters, 
and the U.S. Army Services of Supply each 
had a transportation organization. The con- 
fusion which might have resulted from this 

85 WD Cir 256, 16 Oct 43, sub: Reorg of Corps 
Hq and Organic Trs, par. 17; see file AG 322 (10 
Aug 43) (20) for concurrences. 



duplication fortunately was avoided by the 
designation of the same officer to head the 
transportation staffs of NATOUSA and 
SOS NATOUSA, and to serve as U.S. 
Chief of Transportation for AFHQ, in 
which position he was co-ordinate with a 
British transportation officer. SG Another ar- 
rangement in that theater which General 
Gross considered basically unsound was 
making the manager of the Military Rail- 
way Service responsible directly to the thea- 
ter commander rather than to the Chief of 
Transportation, but there again the diffi- 
culties which might have resulted from this 
organizational weakness were avoided 
through the harmonious co-operation of the 
officials concerned. 87 

In the European theater, despite the evi- 
dent desire of General Eisenhower to have 
a strong centralized transportation service, 
the Chief of Transportation was greatly 
handicapped for a period following the in- 
vasion of the Continent by a lack of clear 
differentiation between his functions and 
those of G— 4 of the communications zone, 
and the latter's exercise of control in trans- 
portation matters. 88 Eventually, and largely 
through the intervention of General Gross, 
this difficulty was overcome. 

In the Southwest Pacific, transportation 
administration was handicapped by a dis- 
persion of authority and frequent reorgani- 
zations. The Chief of Transportation in the 
U.S. Army Services of Supply (at times 
called the Chief Transportation Officer) 
was a permanent institution, but for a pe- 

88 Gross final rpt, p. 74; OCT HB Monograph 
17, p. 106, and Monograph 29, p. 299. 

87 Ltr, Gross to Brig Gen George C. Stewart 
Trans Off SOLOC ETO, 5 Dec 44, OCT HB Gross 
Day File. 

88 See OCT HB Monograph 29, pp. 243, 377; 
Hist Rpt of TC in ETO, Vol. V, Pt. 1, Ch. 2, p. 

riod in 1943 he was subordinate to a Chief 
of Transportation in U.S. Army head- 
quarters, and from late 1943 until near the 
end of the war he was overshadowed by a 
Chief Regulating Officer in the theater 
General Headquarters, who exercised a 
broad control over all traffic and trans- 

The chiefs of transportation in the larger 
and more active theaters experienced varied 
degrees of difficulty in co-ordinating trans- 
portation in the base sections with over-all 
theater requirements, because of the inde- 
pendent position of base section command- 
ers. This problem arose in connection with 
both the operation of ports and the distri- 
bution of rail and motor equipment. 

Wholly adequate doctrine to govern thea- 
ter transportation was not published by the 
Army until after the war was over. In 1 944 
the Chief of Transportation initiated studies 
in the several theaters with a view to formu- 
lating regulations which would give the 
oversea transportation officers the scope and 
the authority which they needed to properly 
perform their tasks. The result of these 
studies was a manual dealing solely with 
transportation, published in December 
1945. 90 This manual stated that the theater 
chief of transportation was a chief of service 
and as such was responsible to the com- 
mander of the communications zone or the 
services of supply, if such an organization 
existed; that he also was the special staff 
officer for transportation on the staff of the 
theater commander, concerned with policy 
and planning; that he was the traffic man- 

89 Ltr, Gen Stewart CofT AFWESPAC to Gross, 
30 Aug 45, and reply, 17 Sep 45, OCT HB SWPA 
Misc; see also Monograph, James R. Masterson, 
U.S. Army Transportation in the Southwest Pacific 
Area, 1941-1947, Ch. XV, OCT HB Monographs. 

00 FM 55—6, Military Transportation Service in 
Theater of Operations. 



ager for the theater and the chief operating 
officer for carrying out approved plans and 
policies; that in addition to operating the 
military railway, highway, inland water- 
way, and coastwise transportation services 
in the communications zone, he had move- 
ment control over nontactical theater air 
transport and shipments of petroleum prod- 
ucts by pipeline; and that he was respon- 
sible for establishing transportation offices 
in the territorial subdivisions of the commu- 
nications zone, such as base, intermediate, 
and advance sections. Thus the theater 
transportation officer belatedly was assured 
of a suitable position in the theater or- 
ganization and was vested with adequate 
authority to enable him to control the uti- 
lization of all the means of nontactical trans- 
portation and to co-ordinate transportation 
operations so as to obtain the best results 
for the theater as a whole. 

Reference was made earlier in this chap- 
ter to the Chief of Transportation's efforts 
to provide the theaters with sufficient com- 
petent transportation officers. This was a 
responsibility which General Somervell em- 
phasized after a visit to the North African 
theater early in 1943, and one which Gen- 
eral Gross considered germane to his posi- 
tion. 1 " The personnel furnished ranged from 
second lieutenants for minor administrative 
jobs to experienced executives to fill key 
positions. Although the selection of officers 
to head their transportation organizations 
was entirely the prerogative of the oversea 
commanders, they normally requested the 
assistance of General Gross, or he volun- 
teered advice when circumstances war- 

91 Memo, Somervell for Gross, 19 Feb 43, par. 
(7), OCT HB Exec Somervell Trip to Africa (Jan- 
Feb 43) ; Memo, CofT for port comdrs and port 
agencies, 1 Dec 42, sub: Tng of Senior Off, OCT 
HB PE Gen Tng. 

ranted. 92 As the war progressed the more 
difficult problem was to find a sufficient 
number of experienced men for the inter- 
mediate and lower echelons of the expand- 
ing theater transportation organizations. 
During 1944, because of the heavy require- 
ments in Europe, the Mediterranean, and 
the Pacific, the Chief of Transportation 
stated that his organization was practically 
stripped of such personnel, and that the 
best remaining material was the graduates 
of the officer candidate school and men who 
had gained some shipping experience as 
cargo security officers on transports. 93 The 
domestic transportation industries also had 
virtually dried up as sources of such person- 
nel, because of the increasingly heavy traffic 
which they were required to move and the 
general shortage of manpower. 

In assigning shipping to move men and 
materiel from the zone of interior to the 
oversea commands, the Chief of Transpor- 
tation had to keep in mind the desirability 
not only of providing a sufficient number of 
vessels to meet the requirements, but also 
of avoiding the dispatch of a greater num- 
ber than could be handled properly at the 
oversea ports. The latter problem concerned 

n2 Memo, Gross for Maj Gen J. C. H. Lee CG 
SOS USAFBI, 7 May 42, sub: SOS Bolero Trans 
Sv, OCT HB Gross Day File; Ltr, ACofT to Maj 
Gen S. B. Buckner, Jr., CG Alaska Def Comd, 2 
Feb 43, OCT HB Wylie Alaska; Ltr, CG ASF to 
Maj Gen James L. Frink CG SOS SWPA, dictated 
by Gross, 17 Jun 44: Ltr, Gross to Brig Gen T. F. 
Farrell Comdg Cons Sv CBI, 10 Jul 44. Last two 
in OCT HB Gross Offs and EM. 

i)3 Ltr, ACofT to Maj Gen Ralph Royce CG 
USAFIME, 23 Jan 44; Ltr, Gross to Col F. M. 
Fogle Trans Off Intermediate Sec Oro Bay SWPA, 
10 Aug 44, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. Rail and 
Water Divisions of certain PE's had complete turn- 
overs of officer personnel within six months and 
CofT sent as many as 250 officers overseas in one 
month. See Min, Port and Zone Conf, 6—9 Jul 44, 
pers mtg, 8 Jul, p. 14, OCT HB PE Gen Port 
Comdrs Conf. 



movements of supplies and equipment 
rather than movements of troops. An effort 
was made by the Chief of Transportation's 
Water Division to have on hand at all times 
up-to-date information regarding docking 
facilities, cargo handling equipment, and 
harbor craft available at oversea ports, the 
facilities for clearing cargo from the docks 
after it had been discharged, and the gen- 
eral conditions prevailing at the terminals. 
His Control Division received radio reports 
from the theaters and prepared reports 
showing the relative efficiency of the over- 
sea ports. Nevertheless, Army officials in the 
zone of interior were guided largely by the 
capacity to receive supplies, and in 1944 
serious port congestion developed in a num- 
ber of major theaters and many ships were 
views of the theater commanders as to their 
idle for weeks because they could not be 
discharged promptly. In addition to being 
too optimistic regarding their ability to dis- 
charge the vessels, General Gross believed 
that the active theaters, in their desire to 
take all possible precautions against short- 
ages, requested supplies for delivery farther 
in advance of the actual need than was req- 
uisite. 94 

From January 1942 control of the move- 
ment of maintenance supplies to the thea- 
ters was assigned to the ports of embarka- 
tion, which maintained large oversea supply 
divisions to perform this function. These 
divisions were in daily contact with the 
theaters for which they were responsible, 
using radio, telegraph, and teletype for the 
purpose. Adjustments in the amounts or 
types of supplies to be shipped in response 
to theater requisitions and changes in ship- 
ping dates were discussed, and arrange- 
ments were agreed upon which would best 
meet the theater need. Radiograms sum- 

marizing the supplies on board were sent 
immediately after each sailing so that plans 
could be made for the docking and dis- 
charge of the ships, and cargo manifests and 
stowage plans were forwarded to the thea- 
ters by air mail to assist them in unloading 
and distributing the cargoes. The ports of 
embarkation also exercised final supervision 
over the packing and marking of shipments, 
in order to minimize damage in transit and 
insure that after arrival overseas the sup- 
plies would reach the services for which they 
were intended. The Chief of Transporta- 
tion believed that vesting control of the 
movement of maintenance supplies in the 
zone of interior port commanders, who also 
controlled the terminals and the loading of 
the ships, was the best method of giving the 
theaters an adequate and well-regulated 
supply service. 9 ' 

In moving combat and service troops to 
the oversea commands the Chief of Trans- 
portation endeavored to have the units as 
nearly at full strength as possible, with com- 
plete individual equipment, before they 
were embarked. Basically this was the re- 
sponsibility of the stations of origin, but in 
practice, particularly during the early part 
of the war, many shortages were found 
when the troops arrived at the port staging 
areas, which had to be made up between 
that date and the day of sailing. Also during 
this period men who were physically or 
mentally unfit were eliminated, training de- 
ficiencies were overcome insofar as possible, 
and instructions were given to prepare the 
troops for the voyage and for debarkation. 
The Chief of Transportation also endeav- 
ored to have organizational equipment 
reach the theaters before or at the same time 
as the troops, and in condition for imme- 
diate use. This proved to be an intricate 

See Gross final rpt, p. 125. 

95 Ibid., pp. 56-59, 125. 



problem, as will be more fully explained in 
the discussion of oversea troop movements, 
but great progress was made during the 
course of the war. General Gross was 
strongly of the opinion that having the stag- 
ing areas under the control of the port 
commanders, who also controlled arrivals of 
troops at the ports and their embarkations, 
was the best way to effect orderly move- 
ments and to insure that units arrived over- 
seas in good condition. 9S The ports of em- 
barkation maintained direct contact with 
the theaters regarding troop movements and 
kept them informed as to the units and the 
organizational equipment shipped on each 

With respect to lines of communication 
in the theaters, the task of the Chief of 
Transportation, aside from providing key 
administrative personnel, was mainly that 
of supplying equipment and troop units 
for the operation of transportation services. 
As indicated earlier in this chapter, that 
responsibility did not rest wholly with the 
Chief of Transportation. During the first 
year of the war he was concerned only with 
the requirements of the theaters for port 
and water operations. Then the military 
railways were brought within his sphere. 
At no time during the war was he respon- 
sible for providing motor equipment or 
motor troops to the theaters, although his 
Highway Division through expert advice 
did much to improve over-the-road vehicles 
and highway operations. The Army Air 
Forces provided the materiel and the per- 
sonnel for air services. The Corps of En- 
gineers installed and operated pipelines, a 
form of transportation which became prom- 
inent in certain theaters where large quan- 
tities of liquid fuel had to be moved inland 
in support of advancing troops. 

96 Ibid., p. 45. 

The principal oversea ports at which 
troops and cargoes were discharged were 
operated under military direction to insure 
uninterrupted work, control of movement, 
and the observation of security regulations. 
Insofar as practical, native longshore labor 
was employed to supplement military per- 
sonnel, but at many ports utilized by the 
Army the civilian labor force was inade- 
quate or inefficient, or both, and in some 
instances, as where new ports were created, 
trained longshore gangs were nonexistent. 
The theaters' need for troop labor was 
therefore heavy. Before the reorganization 
of the War Department in March 1942, 
troops ' for the operation of oversea ports 
were trained at ports of embarkation in the 
zone of interior, and The Quartermaster 
General was responsible for tables of organ- 
ization and for training doctrine. The train- 
ing activity came under the supervision of 
the Chief of Transportation in March 1942, 
and the responsibility for organization and 
doctrine was transferred to him in July 
1942. At that time there were two types of 
port units, one known as headquarters and 
headquarters company and the other as port 
battalion. The former constituted the super- 
visory staff and the latter the labor force. 
With the rapid expansion of oversea activ- 
ities, the Chief of Transportation found it 
necessary to develop three types of head- 
quarters organizations — headquarters and 
headquarters companies for major and for 
medium ports, and headquarters and head- 
quarters detachments for smaller ports. Also 
it was found advantageous to train port 
companies as such rather than as compo- 
nents of port battalions, so that they would 
be more self-sufficient and flexible. All 
changes affecting these organizations were 
made as the result of consultation with the 
theaters and consideration of their experi- 



ence and prospective needs. This was true 
also of the equipment assigned to the units, 
and the Chief of Transportation endeavored 
to supply them with cranes, forklift trucks, 
and other gear suitable to their requirements 
and adequate to enable them to function 
efficiently. 97 

The Chief of Transportation provided 
vessels and crews for water transport in the 
oversea commands. As regards the larger 
types of vessels, his task was to arrange that 
the required numbers be made available by 
the War Shipping Administration and the 
Navy. As regards smaller vessels for harbor, 
coastwise, and inland waterway services — 
that is, vessels of less than 200 feet length 
and 1,000 tons gross — the Chief of Trans- 
portation directly procured such craft and 
sent them to the theaters to supplement 
vessels which could be procured locally. He 
established tables of organization and equip- 
ment for and trained several types of marine 
troop units for service in the theaters — har- 
bor craft companies to man the smaller 
types of vessels, marine maintenance com- 
panies to operate shops on shore at oversea 
ports, and marine ship repair companies to 
man specially equipped repair ships which 
were moved from port to port. He had 
similar responsibilities with respect to am- 
phibian truck companies to operate and 
maintain the 2 '/2-ton Ordnance-procured 
amphibious trucks which were used exten- 
sively overseas for harbor work and in 
assault operations. The composition of 
troop units and the designs of vessels were 
developed on the basis of reports received 
from the theaters. 

37 Fuller discussion of training troops and pro- 
curing equipment and supplies will appear in 
another volume of TC history. Preliminary data 
may be found in Gross final rpt, Sees. V and VI, 
and in OCT HB Monographs 26 and 28. 

After the Chief of Transportation had 
been assigned full responsibility for the Mili- 
tary Railway Service (except construction) 
in November 1942, provision had to be 
made to meet the heavy requirements for 
equipment and troops to conduct the 
Army's oversea railway operations, cspc-; 
daily those in North Africa, Italy, Conti- 
nental Europe, Iran, and India. Different 
types of locomotives were needed in the sev- 
eral areas, and many types and gauges of 
cars were required." 8 The principal types of 
railway troop units were the headquarters 
and headquarters company, military railway 
service, which supervised operations and 
maintenance in areas of major importance 
and corresponded to the office of the general 
manager of a large American railroad; the 
headquarters and headquarters company, 
railway grand division, which was a super- 
visory and administrative organization cor- 
responding to the office of the general super- 
intendent on an American railroad; the 
railway operating battalion, which was ade- 
quate to operate and maintain up to 150 
miles of right of way ; and the railway shop 
battalion, which was staffed and equipped 
to make heavy repairs. Other specialized 
types of units were found to be necessary or 
advantageous as the war progressed and ex- 
perience accumulated. Here again, the Chief 
of Transportation maintained close liaison 
with the theaters and worked out with them 
the changes in the organization and train- 
ing of railway troops and the design of rail- 
way equipment which experience proved to 
be desirable. 

The density of traffic in the more active 
theaters necessitated a systematic plan of 
traffic regulation to insure that movements 

9S In addition to rail equipment for U.S. Army, 
locomotives and cars were procured and shipped 
to allied nations under lend-lease. 

ment at Naples, Italy, October 1943 (top). An American-built locomotive being 
delivered at Cherbourg, France, August 1944 (bottom). MRS rehabilitated and 
operated railways in theaters of operations. 



were effected in an orderly manner, so as 
to avoid delays to troops and supplies and 
obtain optimum service from transportation 
equipment. The need for such regulation 
was felt first in connection with highway 
traffic in the North African theater, where 
it was provided initially by improvisation." 
Foreseeing that similar regulation would be 
required for railway, inland water, and air 
traffic, the Chief of Transportation devel- 
oped the organization and the training doc- 
trine for units to perform this work. These 
traffic regulation units consisted of several 
types of teams trained to deal with the re- 
spective types of traffic. Those which re- 
ceived their military and basic technical 
training in the zone of interior completed 
their technical training overseas. Many 
were activated in the theaters because of the 
urgent need. Traffic regulation units func- 
tioned in the communications zone and usu- 
ally were assigned to base, intermediate, 
and advance sections. Regulating stations, 
which functioned in the combat zone, were 
not classified as Transportation Corps units 
but were activated and trained according to 
tables of organization and training doctrine 
prepared by the Chief of Transportation, 
and the few which were activated in the 
zone of interior were trained under his 

Several other types of Transportation 
Corps troop units should be mentioned as 
contributions to the efficient conduct of 
transportation in the theaters. The staging 
area company was organized primarily to 
provide mess service at oversea ports. Base 
depot companies were organized to store 
and distribute Transportation Corps equip- 
ment and supplies in the theaters. Floating 
spare part depots, two of which were ac- 
tivated and trained during the late months 

"See OCT HB Monograph 9, pp. 269-73. 

of the war, were for the operation of float- 
ing depots to deliver marine and rail spare 
parts at ports in the Pacific where shore 
depots had not been established. A com- 
posite table of organization was devised 
embracing more than sixty small teams o 
technicians trained to work in the severa* 
transportation fields. These teams could be 
utilized separately in cases where larger units 
would have been excessive, or in combina- 
tion with, other teams or units. This table of 
organization enabled the theater transporta- 
tion officers to select teams of skilled work- 
men to meet a wide variety of requirements, 
and it also simplified the Chief of Trans- 
portation's task of providing the skills 

The Transportation Corps units which 
were overseas on 31 March 1945 aggre- 
gated 195,193 officers and enlisted men. 100 
In addition, the theater transportation 
officers made use of troop units of other 
services, and of troops of other services pro- 
visionally organized as TC units. This was 
particularly true in connection with high- 
way operations. On 26 March 1945 the 
Chief of Transportation in the European 
theater stated that the actual strength of the 
units serving under him was 159,532 officers 
and enlisted men, of which 92,476 were in 
Transportation Corps units and 67,056 in 
Quartermaster Corps units serving with the 
Motor Transport Service. 101 

Whereas the training and procurement 
responsibilities of the Chief of Transporta- 
tion in connection with the port, marine, 
railway, and certain other transportation 
activities in the theaters will be dealt with 

100 Rpt, STM-30, Strength of the Army, 1 Apr 
45, p. 28. 

101 Tc ETO Weekly News Ltr, 26 Mar 45, OCT 
HB ETO. At that time more than 9,000 TC troops 
were assigned to base sections and were performing 
work other than transportation. 



rather fully in another volume of Trans- 
portation Corps history, such is not the case 
with respect to motor equipment and motor 
troop units, since he had no responsibilities 
in those directions. General Gross was 
deeply interested in such troops and equip- 
ment, however, because the theater chiefs 
of transportation utilized them extensively 
in their highway transport services, and the 
influence which he was able to exercise in 
both fields was considerable. It is in order, 
therefore, to include here a brief review of 
his activities in connection with highway 
transport in the theaters. Unfortunately his 
influence, which had to be exercised 
through persuasion rather than authority, 
was slow in taking effect and was not felt 
overseas until the war was well progressed. 

The requirements of a highway transport 
service in the communications zone of a 
theater, corresponding to the Military Rail- 
way Service, had not been visualized prop- 
erly when we entered World War II. 102 It 
had been assumed that the general purpose 
vehicles which were developed for use as 
organic equipment would serve satisfac- 
torily for over-the-road operations. Early in 
the war the highway experts on the staff of 
the Chief of Transportation pointed out 
that this was not the case, and that the 2'/2 
ton 6x6 truck, which was the vehicle chiefly 
relied on, was far from efficient as a means 
of moving large tonnages over the highways. 
Studies were initiated to demonstrate that 
trucks of larger capacity, and especially 
tractor-trailer combinations, would save 
operating personnel and equipment and re- 
lieve road congestion. 103 The time required 

102 Gross final rpt, p. 83; Rpt, Hwy Trans in 
Supply Opns, by Hwy Div OCT, 28 Sep 44, OCT 
HB Hwy Div Rpts. 

103 See Rpts, Strategic Studies Br Hwy Div OCT, 
17 Jun 44, Sec. IV, and 18 Jun 45, Sec. V, OCT 
HB Hwy Div Strategic Studies. 

to propagate this doctrine among the mili- 
tary authorities, together with production 
lags, meant that the better vehicles did not 
arrive in the theaters in substantial quanti- 
ties until the summer of 1944, and that the 
numbers desired for such strategic opera- 
tions as the Red Ball, ABC, and XYZ motor 
express routes in the European theater were 
not available. ] 04 Nevertheless, the cargo 
carriers that were delivered overseas, espe- 
cially to Italy, to France, and to India for 
operation over the Stilwell Road into 
China, were of great value to those theaters. 

While endeavoring to have more suitable 
vehicles provided for oversea highway op- 
erations, the Chief of Transportation pro- 
moted tests to demonstrate the ability of 
standard Army trucks to carry more than 
their rated capacities. Those capacities had 
been established for off-the-road operation 
and it was readily proved that for move- 
ments over surfaced roads the vehicles could 
lift heavier loads without undue wear or 
strain. As a result, the War Department in 
May 1944 authorized overloads when the 
vehicles were employed on good high- 
ways. 105 For example, the 2 '/2-ton 6x6 truck 
was permitted to carry up to five tons. The 
larger permissible loads effected a great sav- 
ing in equipment and manpower. The tests, 
performed under supervision of the Ord- 
nance Department, also demonstrated that 
the 2 '/2-ton truck, even when carrying an 
overload, could haul a 4-wheel trailer with 
up to 6'/> tons payload. The Chief of Trans- 
portation had developed a trailer for use in 

,IU Memo, C of Hwy Div OCT for CofT, 9 Oct 
45, sub: Rpt on Accomplishments and Handicaps, 
par. 3b, OCT HB Hwy Div Rpts. 

105 Ibid., par. la; WD Cir 212, Sec. IV, 29 May 
44, and WD Cir 255, Sec. IX, 22 Aug 45; Rpt by 
Hwy Div OCT, Tests of Efficient Loading Practices 
and Related Operating Characteristics for Army 
Cargo Vehicles, 30 Sep 44, OCT HB Hwy Div 
Cargo Vehicles. 

HARD GOING ON OVERSEA HIGHWAYS. Trucks stalled in the mud. on Okina- 
wa waiting to be towed by bulldozers (top). Convoy en route to China slowed down 
by repairs on the Burma Road (bottom). 



this manner, but it was not put in produc- 
tion because of the urgent need for other 
types of vehicles for highway transport, 
especially in the European theater. 106 

The importance which highway trans- 
portation assumed in the North African 
campaign and in other oversea areas neces- 
sitated a large degree of improvisation by 
theater transportation officers, with the re- 
sult that theater operating practices were 
completely out of line with published doc- 
trine. Proposals for revision of the doctrine 
were made by the Chief of Transportation 
in the summer of 1943, and these were par- 
tially incorporated in War Department di- 
rectives issued later that year; further rec- 
ommendations were adopted subsequently. 

After making a careful canvass of the 
several theaters, the Chief of Transporta- 
tion proposed tables of organization and 
equipment for the newly recognized High- 
way Transport Service. Efforts to justify 
these tables were continued through 1944 
and until their publication was authorized 
in May 1945. m Representatives of the 
Chief of Transportation conferred with rep- 
resentatives of The Quartermaster General, 
as well as theater transportation officers, 
regarding new tables of organization and 
equipment for quartermaster truck com- 
panies, made necessary by the introduction 
of new types of vehicles and new operating 

The Chief of Transportation was called 
on by Army Service Forces headquarters 

10fl Conf, author with Maj D. K. Chacey, 20 May 
49, OCT HB Hwy Div Cargo Vehicles. Maj Chacey 
served with Hwy Div during the war and at time of 
this conference was C of Engineering and Logistics 
Br Hwy Transport Sv Div OCT. 

107 Rpts, Strategic Studies Br Hwy Div OCT, 1 7 
Jun 44, pp. 14-16, 18 Jun 45, pp. 10-12, and Ind 
11, OCT HB Hwy Div Strategic Studies; T/O&E 
55-402T, TC Hq and Hq Co, Hwy Transport Sv, 
7 May 45. 

and the War Department General Staff for 
estimates of the capabilities of highways in 
oversea areas, and studies of this nature 
were made covering large portions of 
Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and 
the Far East. 108 These studies undertook to 
establish the maximum tonnages of military 
supplies that could be accommodated on a 
given road during a given period, usually 
a day or a month. Account had to be taken 
not only of the character of the highways 
and the vehicles, but also the volume of 
tactical and other essential traffic likely to 
be moving on the same highways. Similar 
studies were made to determine the capa- 
bility of streets and highways to clear from 
the ports materiel which had been dis- 
charged from ships. The data developed 
were of value for strategic as well as logistic 
planning. Lack of information that might 
have been collected during peacetime and 
the difficulty of assembling facts during war- 
time, especially for areas held by the enemy, 
were serious handicaps in this work. 

The emphasis which General Gross 
placed on the maintenance of close working 
relations with the theaters brought progres- 
sively better results. In the beginning it was 
an uphill effort in which good intentions 
were pitted against adverse conditions — the 
scarcity of shipping, the lack of adequate 
procedures for oversea movements, the 
backwardness of the Transportation Corps' 
procurement and training programs because 
of the corps' recent establishment, the lack 
of authority over some transportation ac- 
tivities, and the unsatisfactory status of the 
transportation organizations in some thea- 
ters. The year 1943, however, witnessed 

108 Rpt, Strategic Studies Br, 17 Jun 44, pp. 
6—11, and Inch, which include copies of rpts on 
studies, OCT HB Hwy Div Strategic Studies. 



definite improvement, which was apparent 
in the support of the campaigns in North 
Africa, Sicily, and Italy. The improvement 
continued during 1944 and 1945 and was 
clearly manifest in the latter stages of the 
build-up of strength in the United King- 
dom, the support of the armies in their 

rapid advance across France into Germany, 
and the preparations in the Pacific for the 
final thrust against Japan. The evidence of 
this progress will be seen as the various as- 
pects of the corps' activities are presented. 
The problems which limited progress in 
certain fields will also be examined. 


The Field Establishment 

The field installations which the Chief 
of Transportation maintained in the zone 
of interior may be grouped into three cate- 
gories: first, the ports of embarkation, 
which dealt primarily with ocean trans- 
portation and which had existed in peace- 
time, though on a modest scale ; second, the 
various types of wartime installations which 
functioned under the control of the zone 
transportation officers and dealt chiefly with 
inland transportation, procurement, and 
storage; third, other field activities which 
did not fall into either of the above cate- 
gories and which also had been set up after 
hostilities began. 

These field installations were the agencies 
through which the policies and procedures 
established by the Chief of Transportation 
were given effect in day-to-day operations, 
and by which he kept in touch with general 
conditions affecting transportation and pro- 
curement. The latter function is worthy of 
emphasis, for in these two major aspects of 
his work — transportation and procurement 
— the Chief of Transportation was largely 
dependent on private industries in the per- 
formance of his mission, and General Gross 
sought to forestall interruption of service in 
those industries by keeping informed re- 
garding shortages of manpower and ma- 
terials or theatened labor difficulties and 
using the influence of his office to prevent 
such conditions from becoming acute. 

While the numerous field installations 
which the Chief of Transportation main- 
tained were on the one hand an expression 

of his policy of decentralizing operating re- 
sponsibility, they were on the other hand 
an essential factor in carrying out his doc- 
trine of integration in the control of Army 
transportation. Such integration implied 
continuous control by the Chief of Trans- 
portation over the movement of troops and 
supplies from their points of origin in the 
zone of interior to the oversea discharge 
ports where they were transferred to the 
theater and base commanders. General 
Gross stoutly opposed the arguments which 
were presented from time to time for the 
divorcement of certain activities from his 
field establishment, because the continuity 
of his control would have been broken 

Ports of Embarkation 

An Army port of embarkation is a highly 
complex institution, especially during war- 
time. It is far more than a shipping ter- 
minal. This fact is at once evident from the 
regulation which defined the responsibilities 
of the port commander. It read in part: 

The commanding officer of a port of em- 
barkation will be responsible for and will have 
authority over all activities at the port, the 
reception, supply, transportation, embarka- 
tion, and debarkation of troops, and the re- 
ceipt, storage, and transportation of supplies. 
He will see that the ships furnished him are 
properly fitted out for the purpose for which 
they are intended; he will supervise the op- 
eration and maintenance of military traffic 
between his port and the oversea base or 
bases; he will command all troops assigned 



to the port and its component parts, includ- 
ing troops being staged, and will be respon- 
sible for the efficient and economical direction 
of their operations. He will be responsible for 
the furnishing of necessary instructions to in- 
dividuals and organizations embarked or de- 
barked at the port .... He will be responsible 
for taking the necessary measures to insure 
the smooth and orderly flow of troops and 
supplies through the port. 1 

A port of embarkation is a military com- 
mand with jurisdiction over the shipping, 
storing, staging, and other facilities neces- 
sary to the performance of its mission, most 
of which lie within the geographic limits 
of a municipality. Ports of embarkation 
within the continental limits of the United 
States were under the command of the 
Chief of Transportation in World War II. 
Although ports in areas outside the United 
States ordinarily were under the command 
of theater commanders, the regulation 
provided that the War Department might 
place such ports under the control of the 
Chief of Transportation, and this was done 
in the case of certain Canadian and Alaskan 

The term "port of embarkation" has 
been used loosely to designate all port in- 
stallations under the command of the Chief 
of Transportation, but more precisely such 
installations were of three types. Strictly 
speaking, ports of embarkation were in- 
stallations which performed all or most of 
the Army's port functions and handled both 
passenger and freight traffic. Subports of 
embarkation were operated under the super- 
vision of ports of embarkation, and in prac- 
tice they were of less importance from the 
standpoint of volume of traffic and variety 
of activities. Cargo ports of embarkation 

1 AR 55-75, par. 2b, 1 Jun 44. This discussion 
relates to ports of water embarkation. Ports of 
aerial embarkation were under the command of CG 

also were operated under the supervision 
of ports of embarkation, and were set up to 
handle cargo primarily. By placing subports 
and cargo ports under the supervision of 
the larger ports of embarkation, a saving 
was made in overhead personnel, while at 
the same time the smaller installations were 
given the benefit of expert direction. The 
regulations also provided for mobile ports 
of embarkation, which were troop units 
organized primarily to operate oversea ports 
but which were sometimes used at domestic 
ports prior to assignment to the theaters. 

On the Atlantic seaboard, at the out- 
break of war in September 1939, the Army 
was operating one port of embarkation, 
located at New York. During the ensuing 
two years of preparatory rearmament, a 
port of embarkation was established at New 
Orleans and a subport at Charleston, S. C. 2 
The New Orleans installation was set up 
primarily to handle traffic with the Panama 
Canal Department, but its wartime activi- 
ties covered a much broader field, including 
shipments to Caribbean, South Atlantic, 
and Pacific bases. The subport at Charles- 
ton, which was under the jurisdiction of 
the New York Port of Embarkation, was 
established primarily to relieve the latter of 
some of the growing traffic with the West 
Indies and Caribbean bases, but it also 
served a variety of interests during the war. 
After the United States became a belliger- 
ent, Charleston was made a full port of 
embarkation, and additional ports of em- 
barkation were installed at Boston and 
Hampton Roads. Cargo ports were set up 
at Philadelphia and Baltimore, operating 
under the supervision of New York and 

2 Copies of documents regarding new Army ports 
and reports of activities at all ports are in OCT 
HB files pertaining to respective ports. 



Hampton Roads, respectively. 3 A subport 
of the New Orleans Port of Embarkation 
was operated for a period at Mobile. Ports 
subordinate to the Boston Port of Embarka- 
tion were installed at Providence, R. I., 
Searsport, Maine, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 
and Quebec and Montreal, Quebec. The 
subport at Providence functioned only 
briefly in the early part of the war. The 
Searsport cargo port was set up just prior 
to the invasion of the. European Continent, 
particularly to load ammunition and ex- 
plosives. The Canadian subports were not 
steadily active and handled only limited 
amounts of traffic. 4 

On the Pacific coast the only Army port 
installation in operation in September 1939 
was at San Francisco. During 1940 the 
quartermaster depot at Seattle was ex- 
panded to handle the growing traffic with 
Alaska, and in 1941 a subport was estab- 
lished there. After our entry into the war, 
Seattle became an independent port of 
embarkation; a subport was established at 
Los Angeles under the jurisdiction of San 
Francisco, which later became an independ- 
ent port of embarkation; a subport was set 
up at Portland, which retained that status 
throughout the war and functioned under 
the supervision first of San Francisco and 
then Seattle; subports to operate under the 
supervision of Seattle were set up at Prince 

3 Initially these cargo ports were under control 
of Dist Trans Off at Philadelphia and 3d ZTO at 
Baltimore. This was altered to afford the cargo 
ports the benefit of close integration with and 
technical supervision by NYPE and HRPE. See 
memo, AGSPX 323.3 (8 Sep 43) OB-I-SPTOF-M, 
13 Sep 43, AG 323.3; Ltr, CofT for 3d ZTO, 22 
Nov 42, OCT HB Gross TZ's. 

4 TC mobile port organization was stationed at 
Churchill, Manitoba, during the summer of 1942 
to transship troops and materiel to northern air 
bases. See Memo, CofT for CO of 12 th port, 15 
Jul 42, OCT 323.3 Churchill. It operated under 
command of CofT in Washington. 

Rupert, British Columbia, and at the 
Alaskan ports of Juneau, Excursion Inlet, 
and Skagway. The installation at Prince 
Rupert was established for the dual purpose 
of lessening the load on the port of Seattle 
and the railroads serving it and of shorten- 
ing the sea route to Alaska. The installations 
at Juneau and Skagway served as discharge 
points for traffic destined to Army posts 
in those areas and as transshipment points 
for freight destined to more distant parts of 
Alaska. The Excursion Inlet subport was 
set up solely as a transshipment facility. 
Juneau, Excursion Inlet, and Skagway 
served as northern terminals for a barge 
line which the Transportation Corps op- 
erated out of Seattle and Prince Rupert 
over the inside passage, for the purpose of 
reducing the demand for deepwater ships in 
the Alaska service. Skagway passed from 
the control of the Chief of Transportation 
to that of the Northwest Service Command 
in the summer of 1943. Excursion Inlet be- 
came of decreasing importance after the 
Japanese threat to Alaska had passed, and 
the installation was inactivated before the 
close of hostilities. 

The establishment of additional independ- 
ent port installations on the Atlantic sea- 
board met with no opposition on the part of 
the commander of the New York Port of 
Embarkation. The port commander at San 
Francisco, on the other hand, believed that 
all port activities on the Pacific coast should 
be under his control. In July 1942 he pre- 
sented arguments, though unsuccessfully, 
for operating Seattle, which had been given 
independent status, as a subport of San 
Francisco. 5 In the spring of 1943, with Los 
Angeles and Portland functioning as sub- 
ports of San Francisco but being considered 

5 Ltr, CG SFPE to CofT, 8 Jul 42, with atchd 
memo, 4 Jul 42, OCT 323.91 San Francisco. 

Calif., an Army-owned facility of the San Francisco Port of Embarkation (top). 
Leased facilities at Newport News, Va., operated by the Hampton Roads Port of 

Embarkation (bottom). 



for independent status, the commander of 
the San Francisco Port of Embarkation 
proposed that his headquarters be desig- 
nated headquarters for all U.S. Pacific coast 
ports except Seattle. His plan was to give 
the two installations in the San Francisco 
Bay area (Fort Mason and the Oakland 
Army Base) and the installations at Los 
Angeles and Portland equal status as operat- 
ing agencies under a single command. This 
he believed would allow greater flexibility 
in transportation and supply matters, and 
would help to allay jealousies between the 
cities in regard to their proportionate shares 
of Army traffic. The Chief of Transporta- 
tion did not approve this plan; he pointed 
out that the trend in Transportation Corps 
organization was toward decentralization. 6 
As already indicated, Los Angeles eventu- 
ally was given independent status as a port 
of embarkation, and Portland was placed 

fi Ltr, CG SFPE to CofT, 14 Apr 43; Ltr, CofT 
to CG SFPE, 19 Apr 43. Both in OCT 323.91 San 

under the supervision of Seattle because of 
its proximity to the latter port and the 
heavy traffic which San Francisco was re- 
quired to handle. Thereafter the com- 
mander of the San Francisco Port of Em- 
barkation commanded only the Army port 
installations in the San Francisco Bay area. 

At the close of the war the Transporta- 
tion Corps was operating eight ports of 
embarkation, three cargo ports, and two 
subports, through which traffic was being 
moved regularly to oversea destinations. 
The relative importance of the thirteen in- 
stallations, as measured by the number of 
passengers and the tons of cargo embarked 
during the period December 1941— August 
1945, inclusive, is shown in the following 
tabulation : 7 

7 Gross final rpt, p. 59. Traffic of subports which 
were closed before V-J Day was relatively light and 
is included in traffic of ports of embarkation to 
which they were responsible. The small numbers of 
passengers embarked at cargo ports are included in 
the figures for the respective ports of embarkation. 

Number of 




Tons of Cargo 

All Ports 



Boston Port of Embarkation 



Searsport Cargo Port 


New York Port of Embarkation 



Philadelphia Cargo Port 


Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation 




Charleston Port of Embarkation , 







San Francisco Port of Embarkation 



Seattle Port of Embarkation 





Prince Rupert Subport 





For the handling of this large traffic and 
the performance of related functions the 
Army utilized both owned and leased facili- 
ties. At the beginning of the emergency the 
government-owned properties included the 
large Army bases at Boston, Brooklyn, New- 
ark, Philadelphia, Newport News, Charles- 
ton, and New Orleans, all of which had 
been projected during World War I, and 
the smaller terminal at Fort Mason, San 
Francisco. 8 While the public and privately 
owned terminals on the Atlantic and Gulf 
coasts were considered adequate, the 
shipping facilities on the Pacific coast were 
a cause of concern. Accordingly, early in 
1941 the Army acquired terminal proper- 
ties at Oakland and Seattle and immediately 
began to improve therm Later, when estab- 
lishing subports at Prince Rupert and 
Juneau, the Army found it necessary to 
construct piers and warehouses, because the 
existing facilities were exceedingly limited. 
Excursion Inlet was an entirely new port. 
Otherwise, so far as terminals for the 
handling of troops and general cargo were 
concerned, the Army relied on the leasing 
of municipally and privately owned facili- 
ties to meet its requirements on all coasts. 
Naturally, specialized facilities for storing 
and transshipping explosives had to be 
provided by new construction. Troop 
staging areas also had to be built at most 
of the ports. The plants required for the 
processing of vehicles, tanks, and other 
automotive equipment prior to shipment 
overseas usually were leased properties, 

8 For data concerning seven Army bases on 
eastern seaboard see Report of the Chief of Trans- 
portation Service, 1920, pp. 33—38. Except for part 
of the Brooklyn base, all facilities were leased to 
commercial operators between the wars. During 
WW II, TC utilized all except the Newark base, 
which was used by AAF. 

which the ports improved according to their 

The largest port installation was at New 
York. In December 1944 at that port the 
Army was using a total of 28 piers with 
berths for 100 ocean-going vessels, 4,895,- 
000 square feet of transit shed space, 5,- 
500,000 square feet of warehouse space, 
and 13,000,000 square feet of open storage 
and working space. The next largest in- 
stallation was at San Francisco where the 
Army used 20 piers with 43 berths for 
ocean-going vessels, 1 ,984,000 square feet of 
transit shed space, 2,867,000 square feet of 
warehouse space, and 7,640,000 square feet 
of open space. At that time the staging 
areas connected with the New York Port 
of Embarkation had active space capable 
of accommodating 78,099 persons (station 
complement and intransit troops), and the 
staging areas of the San Francisco Port of 
Embarkation had a total active capacity 
of 34,338 persons. 9 

As the ports of embarkation were estab- 
lished they were organized along lines 
favored by their respective commanders. 
The Chief of Transportation did not under- 
take to dictate the plan, although he did 
issue a "typical organization chart" for the 
guidance of port commanders. The result 
was a lack of uniformity which eventually 
became a handicap to the Chief of Trans- 
portation in his effort to establish uniform 
procedures and thereby simplify the rela- 
tions of the ports with his office and other 

9 For details concerning these and other ports 
see folders titled Terminal Facilities, in OCT HB 
files for respective ports. The variety of facilities 
controlled by port commanders is indicated in lists 
attached to Memo, Dir of Plans and Opns ASF 
for GofT, 25 Jan 44, sub: Utilization Posts, Gamps, 
and Stations, AG 323.3 Trans Gen. See also 
Exhibit B to 1st Ind, CofT for CG ASF, 29 Jun 44, 
OCT 323.31 Utilization Command Facilities. 



elements of the Army Service Forces, 1 " 
Accordingly, study of the problem of 
standardization was undertaken by the 
Director of Operations and the Control 
Division, and various proposals were pre- 
sented for discussion at a conference of port 
commanders held in January 1944. 11 The 
attitude of the port commanders, generally 
speaking, was unsympathetic. They were 
opposed to any plan of complete standardi- 
zation, since it would ignore differences in 
organization based on differing local condi- 
tions and peculiar personal relationships. 
They were unfavorable also to a proposal 
to replace the general staff plan of super- 
vision with one which would divide super- 
visory responsibility between two officers, 
designated Director of Port Management 
and Director of Operations. 12 The con- 
sensus of the port commanders was that it 
would be unwise to attempt to fashion the 
organization of a military establishment on 
industrial lines. 

Despite the desire of the port com- 
manders that the organizations which they 
had developed be not seriously disturbed, 
progress was made in the direction of 
greater uniformity. A new typical organiza- 
tion chart was issued in April 1944, which 
the port commanders were urged to follow 
insofar as practical. The last wartime revi- 
sion of this diagram, as of 1 July 1945, is 
incorporated as Chart 3 , Ki An approxima- 

10 Compare typical port organization chart and 
organization charts of the several ports in TC Org 
Manual, 20 Oct 42, OCT HB TC Gen Org 
Manuals. Sec remarks by Gen Gross at First Port 
Comdrs Conf, 30 Aug 43, pp. 2-3, OCT HB PE 
Gen Port Comdrs Conf. 

11 Proceedings of Conf, New Orleans, 11—14 Jan 
44, T, 1-25, OCT HB PE Gen Port Comdrs Conf. 

12 See record of voting on three proposals in un- 
signed undated memo obtained from office of 
Dir of Opns OCT, OCT I IB PE Gen Org. 

1,1 No significant change was made between April 
1944 and July 1945. 

tion of what was informally called the 
'"director system" was achieved by making 
the deputy port commander responsible for 
co-ordinating the work of the so-called op- 
erating divisions, and the chief of staff 
responsible for co-ordinating the remaining 
divisions. Although organizational differ- 
ences continued as between the several port 
establishments, sufficient uniformity in the 
basic plan was evolved to accomplish the 
purposes toward which the Chief of Trans- 
portation had been working. 

The operating divisions were those which 
were concerned directly with the means of 
transportation and the movements of troops 
and materiel. 11 The Water Division was 
responsible for the loading and discharging 
of transports, the employment of crews and 
stevedores, the operation, maintenance, re- 
pair, and conversion of transports and 
harbor boats, and the operation and main- 
tenance of piers, docks, wet storage basins, 
and marine repair shops. The Port Trans- 
portation Division was responsible for 
controlling the movement of passengers and 
freight into the port of embarkation, effect- 
ing movements of passengers and freight 
between facilities of the port of embarka- 
tion, and co-ordinating all such movements 
with arrangements made by the other op- 
crating divisions for the loading and un- 
loading of transports. The Overseas Supply 
Division received and edited requisitions 
from the oversea commands for which the 
port had primary supply responsibility, 
forwarded extract requisitions to the proper 
sources of supply, scheduled the inland and 
oversea movements of such supplies in ac- 
cordance with shipping schedules and over- 
sea requirements, and kept the oversea com- 
manders informed as to the status of their 

U TC Pamphlet 1, Org Manual, Apr 44, Sec. 
501.00, pars. 4, 15-19. 




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requisitions. The Troop Movement Divi- 
sion arranged for the orderly movement of 
transient military personnel through the 
port, supervised the processing of such 
personnel at staging areas, prepared em- 
barkation schedules and billeting plans, and 
co-ordinated the work of all other divisions 
affecting such movements. The Initial 
Troop Equipment Division controlled the 
flow through the port of equipment and 
supplies accompanying troops and also 
materiel shipped separately but consigned 
to specific units overseas, and it supervised 
port activities pertaining to the clothing 
and individual equipment of transient 
military personnel. The chiefs of these divi- 
sions constituted the Operations Council, 
which met from time to time with the 
Deputy Port Commander to plan for port 
operations and discuss the problems in- 

This brief description of the functions of 
the operating divisions is in substance a 
description of the basic functions of the 
ports. Broadly speaking, all other elements 
of the port organizations existed for the 
purpose of supplementing and supporting 
the operating divisions or contributing to 
the administration of the huge installations 
which were built up around them. Since the 
more important activities of both the op- 
erating and the nonoperating divisions will 
be dealt with in other parts of this history, 
the remainder of this section will be devoted 
to certain significant developments concern- 
ing relationships within the ports and rela- 
tionships between the ports and other mili- 
tary agencies. 

In the preceding chapter reference was 
made to the position taken by some officers 
in the ASF headquarters that ports of em- 
barkation should be controlled by the serv- 
ice commands. This was but one aspect of 

the broader doctrine that there should be no 
exempted stations whatsoever. The argu- 
ment supporting this doctrine was that 
exempted stations within the service com- 
mand areas violated the principle of unity 
of command and constituted an obstacle to 
efficient administration and effective utiliza- 
tion of personnel and facilities. This subject 
was discussed repeatedly, but in the summer 
of 1943 General Somervell ruled definitely 
that the exempted stations would be con- 
tinued. In its bearing on the ports of em- 
barkation, General Gross considered this 
decision "one of the finest," and remarked 
that it had been achieved "not without 
struggle." 15 He considered it essential that 
the ports be operated under the control of 
the same agency that controlled inland 
traffic and ocean transport, since they served 
as a link between the two and performed a 
co-ordinating function which was necessary 
both to the orderly flow of troops and sup- 
plies from the zone of interior to the over- 
sea commands and to the avoidance of idle 
time for ships and railroad equipment. 

In addition to suggestions that the ports 
of embarkation be removed entirely from 
his jurisdiction, General Gross had to con- 
tend with proposals to remove important 
activities from the control of the port com- 
manders. In the summer of 1942 drafts 
of directives prepared in Services of Supply 
headquarters for the establishment of the 
service commands, as successors to the 
corps areas, provided for control of troop 
staging areas by the service commanders 
rather than the port commanders. The 
Chief of Transportation entered a protest. 
The proposed change, he believed, would 

15 Questions and Answers, SvC Conf, 22-24 Jul 
43, Questions 6 and 28, WD Library; Port and 
Zone Comdrs Conf, 27-28 Sep 45, p. 21, OCT HB 
TZ Gen. 



interfere with the close co-ordination which 
had been possible because troop movements 
had been under the control of a single 
agency at all stages. It was necessary to co- 
ordinate the movement of troops from their 
home stations with the readiness of the 
staging areas to accommodate them; to 
co-ordinate the processing of the units at 
the staging areas (including the correction 
of deficiencies in personnel, equipment, and 
training) with their embarkation on the 
transports (including the staffing and equip- 
ment of the ships and the billeting arrange- 
ments); and to co-ordinate the movement 
of the troop units and the movement of 
their organizational equipment through the 
ports. If such co-ordination had to be 
worked out between the port commanders 
and the service commanders, whose head- 
quarters in some instances were in widely 
separated cities, the possibility of delays 
and discrepancies would be much greater 
than if the port commanders had control 
throughout. This argument was effective 
and the staging areas were left under the 
control of the port commanders. 16 

A similar proposal relative to the 
administration of oversea supply was put 
forward by Army Service Forces head- 
quarters during the spring of 1943. This 
function had not been assigned to the port 
commanders prior to Pearl Harbor, hence 
was not traditionally a part of the port 
responsibility. The proponents of the new 
plan argued that the control of oversea 
supply was one of the most important ASF 
functions and should be administered by an 

10 Memo, Opns Off OCT for Gross, 26 Jul 42, 
sub: Effect of new SvC Org, and atchd papers, 
OCT HB PE Gen Staging Facilities; Conf of CG's 
SOS, 30 Jul 42, App. to Rec of Afternoon Session, 
Question 40, p. 21. 

agency which devoted itself solely to that 
purpose and was more closely aligned with 
and more directly controlled by ASF head- 
quarters. They pointed out shortcomings in 
the oversea supply operation as it had been 
performed under the port commanders up 
to that time. As an alternative they sug- 
gested that an Atlantic Oversea Service 
Command be established at New York 
to operate under the direction of ASF head- 
quarters and assume the supply function for 
the transatlantic theaters; similar organiza- 
tions for other theaters were to be left for 
future consideration. Again the Chief of 
Transportation voiced his protest. He 
pointed out that lack of ships was the most 
serious aspect of the oversea supply prob- 
lem; that the introduction of another 
agency into the operation would impair 
the ability of the port commanders to co- 
ordinate the flow of supplies to the ports 
with the readiness of shipping to load them, 
and thus would affect the efficiency with 
which the available bottoms were used ; 
that the responsiveness which the oversea 
supply divisions at the ports had developed 
in filling theater requisitions and in dealing 
with changed priorities and other emer- 
gency demands would be disturbed by the 
proposed change. General Gross further 
stated that any changes in organization 
and procedures at the ports that might be 
considered necessary to make the operation 
conform more fully to ASF standards would 
be made. An independent study of this 
matter by Maj. Gen. W. D. Styer, ASF 
Chief of Staff, resulted in a finding that 
oversea supply in general had been handled 
efficiently by the port organizations, and 
in a recommendation that no radical 
change be made in the plan then in opera- 
tion but that certain details of the system 



be altered. 17 This recommendation was ap- 
proved by General Somervell. 

Although ports of embarkation were 
exempted stations and hence independent 
of the service commands so far as their 
basic transportation activities were con- 
cerned, the service commands were 
responsible for a wide range of functions 
relating to the operation and maintenance 
of the port installations. 18 In many respects 
this arrangement was entirely acceptable to 
the port commanders, but in others they 
found cause for complaint. Although some 
adjustments were made to meet the port 
commanders' desires, and a high level of 
co-operation was maintained, the arrange- 
ment was never wholly satisfactory to 
them. 19 Maj. Gen. H. M. Groninger, who 
commanded the New York Port of Em- 
barkation during the greater part of the 
war and later the San Francisco Port of 
Embarkation, pointed out in a postwar 
review of problems that although the port 
commander had the entire responsibility 
for the success of port operations, that 

17 Memo, C of Contl Div ASF for CG ASF, 16 
Mar 43, sub: Proposed Org of Atlantic Oversea 
SvC; Memo, ACofS for Opns ASF for CofT, 2 7 
Mar 43, sub: Shipments Overseas; Memo, Gross 
for Styer, 1 Apr 43 ; Memo, Styer for Somervell, 
16 Apr 4-3. All in OCT HB PE Gen Overseas 

ls AR 170-10, par. 4, 24 Dec 42; ASF Cir 265, 
Sec. VII and Incl 3, 11 Jul 45: See Memo, sub: 
Relationship between Sv Comdrs, PE's, and TZ's, 
drafted for Gen Gross's use at SvC Conf, Jul 43, 
OCT HB Exec Relations with SvC's. 

10 Remarks of CofT at SvC Conf, 22-24 Jul 43, 
pp. 107—10, WD Library; see also remarks by CG 
2d SvC at same conf, pp. 293-94, WD Library ; Ltr, 
CG SFPE to CofT, par. 11, 18 Sep 45, sub: Rpt 
on Accomplishments, OCT HB SFPE Correspond- 
ence ; Memo, CG LAPE for CofT, par. 3f, 1 7 Sep 
45, sub: Rpt on Accomplishments, OCT HB LAPE 
Correspondence ; Memo, C of Port and Field 
Agencies Div OCT for Gen Wylie, par. 9, 12 Sep 
45, sub: Lessons Learned in WW II, OCT HB 
Port and Field Agencies Div Rpts. 

success was dependent in many instances 
on new construction or the acquisition or 
repair of existing facilities, concerning 
which he was required to make detailed 
justification to the service command, with 
resulting delays and sometimes failures in 
obtaining authorizations. He also men- 
tioned internal security, public relations, 
utilities, post exchanges, and motor vehicles 
as matters which were responsibilities of 
the service commands but which the port 
commanders could have handled directly 
with advantage. Brig. Gen. J. K. Herbert, 
commander of the Los Angeles Port of 
Embarkation, indicated that even though 
there might be no inherent disadvantage in 
having the service command responsible 
for certain functions, the port sometimes 
suffered because the personnel assigned to 
perform those functions was inadequate in 
number or experience, or because ex- 
perienced personnel was removed without 
notice to the port commanders and without 
provision of satisfactory replacements. At 
the foundation of the port commanders' 
problem was the fact that in certain aspects 
of their work they had two bosses, the 
service commanders and the Chief of 
Transportation, whose interests and points 
of view did not always agree. 

Each technical service or other War De- 
partment agency having a technical or 
supply responsibility assigned representa- 
tives to the ports of embarkation. These 
representatives served as technical advisers 
to the port commanders and were respon- 
sible for the performance of the functions 
of their respective services on behalf of 
the port establishments, the troops, equip- 
ment, and supplies handled in transit at 
the ports, the vessels operated by the ports, 
and the supply requirements of the oversea 
commands for which the respective ports 



were responsible. In most instances the port 
technical services required large organiza- 
tions. This was notably true in the case of 
the engineer officer whose responsibilities 
included the construction and repair of port 
facilities, the ordnance officer who was 
responsible for the preparation of artillery, 
tanks, trucks, and other equipment for over- 
seas shipment, and the quartermaster officer 
who supplied a great variety of subsistence 
and equipment to the port installations and 
the troops at the staging areas. 20 

Before the war the port representatives 
of the technical services, or supply services 
as they then were called, were responsible 
more to the chiefs of services than to the 
port commanders, but a change in that 
relationship was necessary because of the 
increased responsibilities placed on the 
ports during wartime and the necessity of 
effecting the closest possible co-ordination 
of all port activities in order to avoid delays 
to movements and insure the observance 
of priorities. Insofar as their functions 
related to oversea supply, the representa- 
tives of the technical services were under 
the immediate direction of the port oversea 
supply officers, whose handling of complex 
requisitions from the theaters required care- 
ful collaboration on the part of all con- 
cerned. In other respects the technical 
service representatives were responsible 
directly to the port commanders. 21 

The Chief of Transportation regarded 
the functions of the technical service repre- 
sentatives to the ports as highly important, 
especially in relation to the movement of 
troops and materiel. It was his policy that 

20 PE historical reports include sections relating 
to technical services, and technical services at 
NYPE made separate reports. See OCT HB files 
for respective PE's. 

21 See NYPE Org Manual, par. 500, 1 Jul 44, 

on technical matters the chiefs of services 
and their depots should deal directly with 
the ports, rather than through TC head- 
quarters, and that they should transact such 
business exclusively through their port rep- 
resentatives, rather than with the several 
divisions and branches directly. 22 This was 
desirable not only as a matter of centraliz- 
ing responsibility for the respective services, 
but also because the port organizations 
differed and it was difficult for an outsider 
to know the office to which his business 
should be taken. The plan worked satis- 
factorily except as regards port air officers. 
Although the functions of these officers were 
explicitly defined by the War Department, 
and the Chief of Transportation requested 
his port commanders to make full use of 
their services, AAF headquarters restricted 
the activities of port air officers to the 
movement of troops and their accompany- 
ing equipment and made the Air Service 
Command responsible for other equipment 
and supplies moving overseas. 23 The port air 
officers, therefore, did not have the status 
and effectiveness at the ports of embark- 
ation which the Chief of Transportation 

During the 1930's the general depots at 
New York and San Francisco were under 
the command of the commanders of the 
ports of embarkation and were operated 
at the same locations — the Brooklyn Army 
Base and Fort Mason. As the volume of 

22 Memo, CofT for port comdrs, 12 Jun 43, sub: 
Liaison with C's of Tech Svs; Memo, CofT for C's 
of Tech Svs, 12 Jun 43, same sub. Both in OCT 
HB Exec. Staybacks, Dec 42-Dec 44. 

23 WD Cir 137, Sec. I, 10 Apr 44; Memo, CofT 
for port comdrs, 20 Apr 44, sub: Port Air Offs, 
OCT HB Meyer Staybacks ; Remarks of Lt Col R. 
D. Meyer at Mtg of Port Comdrs and Port Air 
Offs, 8 Jul 44, included in Min, Port and Zone 
Comdrs Conf, 8-9 Jul 44, OCT HB PE Gen Port 
Comdrs Conf. 



traffic at New York increased, the un- 
desirability of this arrangement from the 
standpoint of possible congestion was 
recognized, and in May 1941 the New York 
General Depot was ordered out of the 
Brooklyn Army Base. Finding new quarters 
was a slow process and the removal was not 
completed until almost the end of the year. 24 
No corresponding action was taken in regard 
to San Francisco until after Pearl Harbor, 
and the necessity of moving through the 
port area supplies for both the theaters and 
the troops of the Western Defense Com- 
mand contributed to the serious railway 
congestion which prevailed there during 
the early months of the war. At San Fran- 
cisco it was not merely a question of re- 
moving the general depot from the port 
of embarkation, but of moving it out of 
the San Francisco Bay area, and this was 
not a simple matter under prevailing cir- 
cumstances, since time was required by the 
several supply services to find suitable new 
quarters and relocate their depot opera- 
tions. 25 In view of the increasing responsi- 
bility borne by San Francisco in the war 
against Japan and the limited capacity of 
the rail facilities serving the port, the Chief 
of Transportation in 1944 opposed the 
allocation of even a small amount of space 
at the Army port of embarkation for the 

- 4 WD GO 4, Sec. II, 15 Apr 32; Memo, C of 
Trans Br G-4 for C of Req and Dist Br G-4 
(Aurand), 18 Aug 41, OCT HB Gross Day File; 
Summary of Hist Events and Statistics NYPE 1941, 
pp. 4-5, OCT HB NYPE. 

- 5 Memo, CG SFPE for ACofS G-4, par. 3, 4 
Jan 42, sub: Rail Congestion in SF Bay Area, 
G-4/33867-1; Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 18 
Jan 42, sub: Diverting Shipments from SF, 
G-4/33867-1 ; Memo, TAG for C's of Svs, 2 Feb 
42, AG 681 SFPE; 1st Ind, ACofS G-4 for CG 
SFPE, 1 Mar 42, G-4/33889. 

accommodation of Signal Corps stocks in- 
tended for local distribution. 2 " 

The removal of the New Orleans General 
Depot and the Boston Quartermaster Depot 
from the Army bases at those ports, also 
undertaken early in 1942, was slow of 
accomplishment, but the delays were not so 
serious as at San Francisco because the 
pressure on those ports was not so great. 27 
The Seattle General Depot was located 
some distance from the Army port installa- 
tion when we entered the war, and although 
its removal to a location inland was pro- 
posed, such action was not found neces- 
sary. 28 

Although the port commanders clearly 
were responsible for the operation of ships 
and shipping terminals at their installations, 
during the early part of the war they were 
in some instances embarrassed by the tra- 
ditional independence of the Army Trans- 
port Service superintendents who were im- 
mediately responsible for these activities. 
This independence had developed during 
peacetime when ATS overshadowed all 
other phases of Army port operation. 2!) In 
wartime other activities took on increased 
importance, and closer co-ordination with 
water transportation was necessary. General 
Gross first attacked this problem in July 
1943 by calling attention to the fact that 

26 Memo, CofT for Dir of Supply ASF (Heile- 
man), 31 May 44, OCT HB Gross Day File. 

27 Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 9 Jan 42, sub: 
Shipment of Cargo through NOPE and Discontinu- 
ance NOGD, OCT 000.900 NO; Hist NOPE, Bk. 
II, Warehousing Sec, p. 3, OCT HB NOPE; BPE 
Hist Rec, Jan-Jun 42, pp. 2-3, OCT HB BPE. 

28 Memo, TAG for CG's IX Corps Area, SFPE 
etc., 30 Sep 41 ; Memo, AG 681 Seattle QM Depots 
(7-5-41) MR-M-D ; Memo for record only, 3 
Feb 42, sub: Change in Status of SF and Seattle 
Gen Depots, with notation of Conf, author with 
Col T. J. Weed. All in OCT HB SPE Misc. 

29 See WD TM 10-380, Sec. II, III, 14 Feb 41, 
sub: Water Trans. 

REACTIVATED ARMY BASES. Built for World War I, these installations at 
Boston (top) and New Orleans (bottom) served the Transportation Corps well in the 

second world conflict. 



ATS operations were completely under the 
control of the port commanders. Soon there- 
after, in order to further emphasize this 
relationship, he announced the abolition 
of the term Army Transport Service and 
the substitution of the title Water Division 
to designate that phase of port operation. 30 
After visiting ports in some of the theaters, 
he requested that this change be brought 
to the notice of the oversea commanders in 
order that it might be made effective at 
ports under their control. 

It was desirable sometimes to load or 
discharge cargo and to embark or disem- 
bark passengers at a U.S. port where there 
was no port of embarkation, subport, or 
cargo port. Initially, the responsibility for 
such an operation was assigned to the zone 
transportation officer in whose territory the 
port lay. He might perform this function 
entirely with personnel of an organization 
under his own control, such as a district 
transportation office or a port agency, or 
he might call on a near-by port commander 
for personnel or other assistance. 31 Later 
this responsibility was assigned to the com- 
manders of the ports of embarkation, and 
each was given jurisdiction over a section 
of the coast line adjacent to his command. 
The port commanders were directed to 
utilize local organizations of the transporta- 
tion zones insofar as possible but to supply 
experienced Water Division personnel from 
their own organizations to whatever extent 
might be found necessary. This proved to 
be the better arrangement, since transporta- 

S0 OCT Cir 88, 16 Jul 43, sub: Status of ATS; 
OCT Cir 113, 13 Sep 43, sub: Designation of 
Water Div; Memo, Gross for Dir of Opns OCT 
(Wylie), airmail from Fiji, 20 Sep 43, OCT HB 
Theaters Gen; WD Cir 234, Sec. Ill, 27 Sep 43. 

31 OCT Cir 80-7 rev., 29 Nov 44, sub: Responsi- 
bility of ZTO's for Water Trans Matters; Ibid., 
rev., 1 5 Mar 45. 

tion zone personnel frequently were not 
experienced in the technical aspects of 
docking and maintaining ships and handling 

The port commanders had extensive 
training functions. In addition to their 
responsibility for continuance of training 
troops of all arms and services while they 
were at the staging areas awaiting embarka- 
tion, the port commanders trained individ- 
uals and troop units for a variety of trans- 
portation tasks. 32 In the early part of the 
war all troop units for the operation of 
ports in oversea theaters were trained at 
ports of embarkation in the zone of interior. 
Even after unit training centers had been 
established for this purpose, the port com- 
manders provided some training for port 
headquarters, port companies, amphibian 
truck companies, and harbor craft compan- 
ies. The command of the port commander 
at New Orleans included the unit training 
center at Camp Plauche and the Trans- 
portation Corps School for officers and 
officer candidates. Prior to the establish- 
ment of the Transportation Corps School 
at New Orleans in 1944, the port com- 
manders at New York and San Francisco 
operated officer training schools, primarily 
to provide instruction in military matters 
and orientation to the work of the Trans- 
portation Corps for men recently com- 
missioned from civil life. 

The personnel required to operate the 
many facilities and carry on the multi- 
farious activities at Army ports necessarily 
was large. The commander of the New 
York Port of Embarkation stated early in 
1945 that the number of persons then em- 
ployed at his installation was over 50,000, 
twenty times greater than it had been in 

32 PE's part in TC training program will be dis- 
cussed in second volume of TC history. 



1940. 33 The personnel of the ports, sub- 
ports, and cargo ports which were active 
on 31 December 1944 totaled approxi- 
mately 171,000, of whom about 155,000 
were employed on shore and about 16,000 
on transports and small boats. These figures 
do not include officers and enlisted men in 
training at the ports for oversea duty, or 
personnel of the service commands per- 
forming functions at the ports for which 
the service commands were responsible. 
The above total may be broken down into 
three general classes: military personnel, 
including officers, nurses, and enlisted men, 
representing 36.6 percent; the ports' civil- 
ian employees, including marine personnel, 
representing 45.6 percent; other workers, 

33 Maj Gen H. M. Groninger, "50,000 People;' 
Army Transportation Journal (February 1945). 

including contractors' employees (such as 
longshoremen), and Italian Service Units 
and German prisoners of war who were 
assigned to the port commanders, represent- 
ing 17.8 percent. The distribution of this 
personnel among the port installations at 
the end of 1 944 is shown in Table 2. 

Because efficient port operation was es- 
sential to the orderly flow of men and 
materiel to the oversea commands, General 
Gross selected the port commanders with 
great care. He saw that executive ability 
was the prime requisite for the head of so 
large and complex an installation. Expert 
assistants were provided in all technical 
branches, and the essential task of the port 
commander was to co-ordinate and control 
their activities and to plan for the develop- 
ment of personnel and facilities adequate 

Table 2 — Personnel Employed at Port 
Installations: 31 December 1944 




























































, 1,263 





" Figures (for New Orleans) do not include personnel employed by port commander for operation of unit training center 
at Camp Plauche and TC School. 

Source: Based on statement prepared in Office of Dir of Pers OCT, 2 3 Feb 45, OCT HB PE Gen Pers. 



for future military needs. The port com- 
manders also had to maintain successfully 
the vital relationships with the service com- 
mands, with local representatives of the 
Navy, the War Shipping Administration, 
the British Ministry of War Transport, the 
Office of Defense Transportation, and the 
carriers, and with the oversea theaters. 
Eventually all commanders of ports of em- 
barkation (not subports or cargo ports) 
were general officers, and the commanders 
of the two largest ports were major generals. 
The wartime commanders of the ports of 
embarkation are listed in Appendix B. 

Transportation Zones 

The Chief of Transportation was respon- 
sible in the zone of interior for the "direc- 
tion, supervision, and coordination of all 
transportation by common carrier . . . for 
the War Department." 3J It was his task to 
make sure that movements of troops and 
supplies were started and deliveries effected 
according to the requirements of the mili- 
tary program. To achieve this result for the 
Army, it was necessary for him to maintain 
close surveillance over transportation in 
general and to take timely steps to prevent 
the development of unhealthy conditions, 
since any serious deterioration in the over- 
all situation would affect military traffic. 
Delay or confusion in military movements 
in the zone of interior, moreover, would 
affect shipments to the theaters, directly or 
indirectly, and might affect combat opera- 
tions within the theaters. These facts are to 
be kept in view when considering the num- 
erous types of independent field installa- 
tions set up by the Chief of Transportation 
to deal with inland traffic, and their even- 
tual incorporation into nine transportation 

34 AR 55-5, par. Za, 5 Oct 42. 

During peacetime no such field organiza- 
tion was necessary, since there was little 
danger of congestion or interrupted service 
on the common carriers, and military move- 
ments were mostly of a routine nature so 
that failure to maintain schedules involved 
no serious consequences. Under such cir- 
cumstances it was feasible to leave the han- 
dling of the Army's inland traffic to the trans- 
portation officers at posts, camps, and sta- 
tions, and to the carriers, with only general 
supervision by The Quartermaster General. 
The emergency which followed the outbreak 
of hostilities in Europe and brought an in- 
crease in both military and nonmilitary 
traffic in the United States presented a 
d : ffer?nt set of circumstances. This became 
clearly apparent after the passage of the 
Lend-Lease Act in March 1941, which 
added to the volume of both inland and 
oversea freight traffic. The first new units 
of the transportation field organization, to 
complement the ports of embarkation, were 
established during the summer of that 
year. 35 

Lend-lease supplies did not pass through 
Army ports of embarkation but were 
handled over commercial piers, and in the 
beginning there was no adequate machinery 
for co-ordinating their transshipment. Re- 
alizing that this situation might lead to 
port congestion which would affect military 
movements, The Quartermaster General's 
Commercial Traffic Branch sought author- 
ity to establish commercial traffic agencies 
at the ports as circumstances might warrant, 
and that authority was granted in July 

35 An office was set up by OQMG in Detroit 
early in 1940 to aid the movement of 17,000 trucks 
from manufacturers to troop units then preparing 
for maneuvers, but this was a temporary mission. 
Interv, author with Anthony G. Liebler, 25 Apr 47, 
OCT HB OQMG Coml Traf Br. 



1941. 36 The first such agency was opened at 
New York during the same month and an- 
other was established in Boston during the 
following October. Their function was to 
co-operate with the port representatives of 
shippers, consignees, and carriers in order 
to keep lend-lease supplies flowing freely 
through the ports; and to keep conditions 
at railway and shipping terminals under ob- 
servation and report developments to The 
Quartermaster General. After our entry into 
the war, commercial traffic agencies, or port 
agencies as they then were designated, were 
established at other large ports, where they 
functioned under the general supervision of 
the Traffic Control Division in the Office 
of the Chief of Transportation. 37 

During the spring of 1941 there were 
extended discussions between officials of the 
Division of Defense Aid Reports (later 
known as the Office of Lend-Lease Admin- 
istration ) and the War Department regard- 
ing the need for transit storage facilities 
back of the ports to serve as reservoirs into 
which equipment and supplies destined 
overseas could be diverted pending the abil- 
ity of the ports to receive and transship them. 
It was believed that the volume of materiel 
produced by American industry for use 
overseas would increase more rapidly than 
the capacity of shipping to lift them, so that 
protection against port congestion would be 
necessary. In July 1941 these officials de- 
cided to build two such facilities, at Marietta, 
Pa., and Voorhecsville, N. Y., to back up 

36 Memo, C of Trans Div (Dillon) for Exec Off 
OQMG, 21 Jul 41, approved by QMG on same 
date, OCT HB OQMG Coml Traf Br; OQMG 
Office Order 229, 11 Oct 41. 

37 Memo, TAG for CG's SOS, corps areas, etc., 
11 May 42, sub: Designation of Port Agencies as 
Exempted Stations, AG 323.7 (5-8-42). Where 
port agencies were located in same cities as PE's 
they received technical assistance from port com- 
manders when needed. 

the North Atlantic ports. Immediately after 
Pearl Harbor six additional transit storage 
installations were authorized, and later two 
more were added, making a total of ten. 
These holding and reconsignment points, as 
they soon were designated, operated under 
the supervision of the Chief of Transporta- 
tion's Transit Storage Division and handled 
supplies destined to the U.S. forces over- 
seas and to allied nations under lend-lease. 

During the twelve months following 
Pearl Harbor the Traffic Control Division 
established additional field agencies. Con- 
currently with the designation of the West- 
ern Defense Command as a theater of op- 
erations in December 1941, regulating sta- 
tions were installed at Spokane, Ogden, 
Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and El Paso 
to expedite, hold, or divert westbound 
movements upon request of the theater com- 
mander. 33 In view of the growing need for 
representation at important production 
centers to aid the carriers and the trans- 
portation officers at Army installations and 
industrial plants in moving traffic promptly 
and efficiently, traffic control agencies were 
established at Detroit, Chicago, Philadel- 
phia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, beginning 
in May 1942.™ In July the first steps were 
taken in the development of an extensive 
consolidated freight service to handle lcss- 
than-carload shipments, by the establish- 
ment of a consolidating station at Chicago 
and distributing agencies at San Francisco 
and Los Angeles. 40 

Other operating divisions in the Office 
of the Chief of Transportation also found it 
desirable to place representatives in the 

38 Memo, TAG for CG's of Armies, Army Corps, 
WDC, etc., 19 Dec 41, AG 320.2 Reg Stations. 

39 OCT Cir 14, 18 May 42, defines functions of 
traffic control agencies. 

40 Rpt on Adm Developments in Traf Contl Div, 
pp. 6-7, 23 Nov 42, OCT HB Traf Contl Div Rpts. 



field. 41 The Transit Storage Division, in 
order to better supervise the operation of 
the holding and reconsignment points, 
established district offices at Philadelphia 
and San Francisco in July 1942. The High- 
way Division obtained authorization in Sep- 
tember 1942 to establish highway agencies 
at Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Cleve- 
land, and made plans for placing its repre- 
sentatives at numerous other points. The 
Rail Division assigned representatives to the 
larger port agencies to assist with railway 
traffic problems. 

This complex field establishment, em- 
bracing agencies of several kinds, each cre- 
ated to meet a specific need, presented cer- 
tain disadvantages. Over-all co-ordination 
was difficult because the different types of 
agencies were responsible to different divi- 
sions in the Office of the Chief of Transporta- 
tion. These divisions, located in Washington 
and heavily burdened, were obliged to do 
most of their supervising at long range. 
Furthermore, having several independent 
transportation field offices located in the 
same city was uneconomical from the stand- 
point of personnel and office space. 

The first attempt to correct this situation 
was made in July 1942. At that time all field 
agencies, other than ports of embarkation, 
located in cities where there were port 
agencies, were placed under the control of 
the respective port agencies. New installa- 
tions, known as transportation agencies, 
were set up at important inland cities and 
were given control over all field activities 
within specified areas, except holding and 

41 Memo for record, prepared in Transit Stor 
Div, 14 Nov 42, OCT HB Transit Stor Div; OCT 
Cir 46, 2 Sep 42; Memo, C of Hwy Div for C of 
Port and Field Agencies Div OCT, 17 Nov 42, 
OCT 323.3 Misc 1942; Rail Div Hist Rec, Org 
Developments up to 15 Nov 42, p. 5, OCT HB 
Rail Div Rpts. 

reconsignment points. 42 While this realign- 
ment of the existing organization was being 
worked out, the Chief of Transportation 
found it necessary to establish a new type 
of field agency to support his growing sup- 
ply program. Five zone procurement offices 
were created in October 1942 to function 
as parts of the transportation agency at 
Chicago and the port agencies at Boston, 
Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Fran- 
cisco. 13 

The reorganization of July 1942 was only 
an initial step in the direction of consolida- 
tion, since it left twenty-seven field installa- 
tions ( port agencies, transportation agencies, 
holding and reconsignment points) func- 
tioning independently of each other and 
requiring supervision in both operating and 
administrative matters by the Office of the 
Chief of Transportation. The need for 
greater integration was apparent, and it was 
given added importance in November 1942 
by the transfer to the Chief of Transporta- 
tion of procurement responsibility for mili- 
tary railway equipment. 

This objective was achieved with the cre- 
ation of nine transportation zones, co- 
extensive with the nine service commands, 
effective 1 December 1942. 44 All existing 
field agencies of the Transportation Corps, 

42 WD Cir 236, Sec. VII, 20 Jul 42; OCT Cir 
60, 12 Oct 42, sub: Port Agencies and Trans 
Agencies; TC Org Manual, Sees. 20-22, 20 Oct 
42. These documents give locations and define 
functions of port agencies, transportation agencies, 
and holding and reconsignment points. Latter docu- 
ment also gives locations of nine port agencies and 
eight transportation agencies and their subordinate 
activities. List of subordinate activities includes 
some which were projected but not actually 

43 WD Cir 341, 10 Oct 42; OCT Cir 61, 14 Oct 
42, sub: Zone Procurement Offices; OCT Cir 62, 19 
Oct 42, sub: same. 

44 SOS Cir 91, 1 Dec 42, sub: Reorg of TC Field 



except those pertaining to the ports of em- 
barkation and to training, were made re- 
sponsible to the new zone transportation 
officers. 45 The port agencies, holding and 
reconsignment points, regulating stations, 
consolidating stations, and distributing 
agencies retained their separate identities. 
The traffic control agencies, transportation 
agencies, highway agencies, and transit 
storage district offices were discontinued 
and their work was taken over by the zone 
technical staffs. Concurrently, fourteen dis- 
trict transportation offices were created 
within the zones, to have jurisdiction over 
installations and activities in areas located 
too far from zone headquarters for effective 
supervision by those offices. The Chief of 
Transportation was authorized to establish 
additional district offices as needed and to 
set up branches of zone and district offices 
in cities where the transportation activity 
did not warrant the establishment of full- 
fledged district offices. 

The nine zone transportation officers 
were the field representatives of the Chief 
of Transportation, to whom he delegated 
"full authority on transportation matters," 
subject to the limitations imposed by Army 
regulations and Transportation Corps di- 
rectives. Their stated mission was to exer- 
cise general supervision over all transporta- 
tion matters within their respective zones, 
except matters under the authority of defense 
commands, service commands, port com- 
manders, the Military Railway Service, and 
installations not under the command of the 
Chief of Transportation; to establish, com- 
mand, supervise, and control installations 

43 Installations placed under zone officers are 
listed in Instruction 5—1, Operation and Instruction 
Manual, Zone and Dist Offices, CofT, 22 Dec 42. 
For revised instructions see Zone and Dist Trans 
Offs' Guide, Nov 43. Both in OCT HB TZ Gen. 

necessary for carrying out the directions of 
the Chief of Transportation; to assist the 
Chief of Transportation in controlling the 
flow of traffic through the zones so as to 
avoid congestion ; to give assistance in trans- 
portation matters, upon request, to com- 
manders of service commands and com- 
manders of exempted stations under the 
control of War Department agencies other 
than the Transportation Corps. 

The zone transportation officers thus 
were charged with certain functions which 
previously had been performed by the op- 
erating divisions in the Office of the Chief 
of Transportation, directly or through field 
installations under their control. While it 
was essential that the operating divisions 
and the zone transportation officers should 
co-operate closely, and desirable that the 
operating divisions should continue to aid 
the field installations in technical matters, 
the Chief of Transportation was insistent 
that this relationship should in no way in- 
terfere with the zone transportation officers 
in the performance of their mission or 
qualify their responsibility. Accordingly, he 
directed that the authority of the divisions 
in his office to communicate directly with 
field establishments on matters of general 
routine and on technical details should be 
"closely construed," and he laid down rules 
to be observed to that end. 46 General Gross 
wanted the zone officers to feel free to ex- 
ercise initiative in the fulfillment of their 

While the directive establishing the trans- 
portation zone organization was under con- 
sideration, opposition to the idea was ex- 

46 Memo, CofT for C's of OCT Divs and ZTO's, 
23 Jan 43, sub: Direct Communication with Field 
Estab, OCT HB TZ Gen. 



pressed by the Assistant Chief of Staff for 
Operations in the Services of Supply head- 
quarters." That officer pointed out that the 
service commands were concerned with 
movements of troops and supplies, and that 
the transportation officers of the service 
commands could serve as co-ordinators for 
all Transportation Corps activities within 
their respective jurisdictions. He believed, 
therefore, that the transportation zone 
offices were not needed, except perhaps in 
connection with the procurement, storage, 
and distribution of materiel peculiar to the 
Transportation Corps. Realizing that simi- 
lar views might be held by some of the serv- 
ice commanders, the Chief of Transporta- 
tion emphasized to his zone officers the 
desirability of full co-operation, and ar- 
ranged that the SOS chief of staff should 
address a letter to each service commander 
explaining how the zone transportation 
officers could be of aid to them. 48 

The directive by which the transportation 
zones were created stated not only that the 
zone transportation officers, upon request, 
would aid the service commanders in deal- 
ing with transportation matters, but that 
they would, upon request, act as additional 
members of the service commanders' staffs 
for transportation. 49 Certain service com- 

47 Memo, ACofS for Opns SOS for CofT, 28 Nov 
42, OCT 020 Reorg of TC Field Installai.ons. 

48 Memo, CofT for CofS SOS, 5 Dec 42, sub: 
Reorg of TC Field Agencies; Memo, CofS SOS 
for CG's of SvC's, 6 Dec 42, same sub. Both in 
OCT 020 Reorg of TC Field Installations. Prior to 
establishment of TZ's, most SvC's had disregarded 
offer of CofT to provide experienced personnel to 
serve as transportation officers at SvC head- 
quarters, posts, camps, and stations. See Memo, 
ACofT for CofT, 12 Sep 42, OCT HB Gross SvC's. 

4!> SOS Cir 91, pars. 8b (5) and 9; Memo, CofT 
for TAG, 6 Jan 43, AG 320.2 (1 Dec 42) Reorg 
of TC Field Agencies. 

manders expressed the view that this op- 
tional arrangement would not prove satis- 
factory and that a direct order was pref- 
erable. General Gross accordingly arranged 
that this provision of the directive be re- 
vised to state positively that the zone trans- 
portation officers would be attached to the 
staffs of the commanding generals of the 
corresponding service commands and would 
be charged with staff supervision over serv- 
ice command transportation matters. 50 
When this revision was transmitted to the 
zone transportation officers by the Office of 
the Chief of Transportation, they were in- 
formed that the change placed them in a 
relationship to the service commanders 
similar to that of the division engineers. 

Despite the positive language of the latter 
directive, the majority of the service com- 
manders did not comply at once. The Chief 
of Transportation kept developments under 
close observation and kept ASF head- 
quarters informed. He found that where the 
zone transportation officers were permitted 
to function in the dual capacity a very 
workable arrangement resulted, which re- 
duced rather than increased duplication of 
personnel and activities. 51 He found that 
the delay on the part of certain service com- 
manders in accepting the arrangement was 
due to lack of understanding as to what was 
intended, inability to visualize how the ar- 
rangement could be effected without the 
maintenance of duplicating staffs, or dis- 

50 SOS Cir 3, 6 Jan 43, sub: Reorg of TC Field 
Agencies ; Memo, OCT for ZTO's, 7 Jan 43. Both 
in OCT 020 Reorg of TC Field Installations. 

51 Memo, CG 6th SvC for CG SOS, 23 Jan 43, 
OCT 020 Reorg of TC Field Installations; 2d Ind, 
CofT for CG SOS, 10 Mar 43, and atchd papers, 
OCT HB Exec Relations with SvC's. 



satisfaction with the incumbent of the zone 
transportation office/' 2 

For more than a year after the establish- 
ment of the zones the Chief of Transporta- 
tion was confronted not only with the re- 
fusal of some service commanders to place 
the zone transportation officers on their 
staffs or otherwise utilize their services, but 
also with the more basic contention that the 
zone transportation organizations should be 
solely under the control of the service com- 
manders." General Gross preferred to meet 
this situation with persuasion rather than to 
seek an arbitrary enforcement of the SOS 
directive. He pointed out that many of the 
functions of the zone transportation officers 
were of a highly technical nature and en- 
tirely foreign to the normal operations of 
the service commands, such as those relating 
to port agencies, holding and reconsignment 
points, consolidating stations, distributing 
agencies, and the control of traffic move- 
ments. He indicated that while the service 
commanders were responsible for supervi- 
sion of transportation activities at Class I 
and Class II installations, they had no such 
responsibility at Class III and Class IV in- 
stallations and that only the zone trans- 
portation officers were in a position to aid 

52 Memo, 1st ZTO for C of Contl Div OCT, 8 
Mar 43; Memo, CofS ASF for CG 4th SvC, 24 
Mar 43; 1st Ind, CG 4th SvC for CG ASF, 11 
Apr 43; Memo, C of Contl Div OCT for C of 
Contl Div ASF, 23 Jun 43. All in OCT 020 
Reorg of TC Field Installations. See also Memo, 
4th ZTO for CofT, 1 Mar 43; Memo, Fort and 
Field Agencies Div OCT (Mathews) for Dir of 
Opns OCT (Wylie), 16 Jun 43, sub: Relationship 
between 4th Zone and 4th SvC. Both in OCT 020 
Org of TC. 

aa Memo for record by 2d ZTO giving views of 
representative of Contl Div ASF, expressed during 
visit to 2d Zone, 1 Apr 43, OCT HB TZ Gen 
Proceedings; SvC Conf, Chicago, 22-24 Jul 43, 
pp. 9-11, 95-104, 110-12, WD Library. Latter 
reference appertains to all Class IV installations, 
not only those of TC. 

the transportation officers at such stations. 
He emphasized that the zone transportation 
officers dealt with many matters which 
transcended service command boundaries 
and could be satisfactorily handled only by 
officers functioning under the direction of 
the Chief of Transportation, who operated 
on a nation-wide basis. 54 

In July 1943 General Gross, in an ad- 
dress before a conference of service com- 
manders, explained the purpose and organ- 
ization of his office and the zone transpor- 
tation establishments, cited the satisfactory 
results which had been achieved in the sec- 
ond and' sixth zones where the zone trans- 
portation officers had been fully utilized by 
the service commanders, and indicated his 
willingness to place in charge of the zones 
individuals who were acceptable in all re- 
spects to the service commanders. At this 
conference General Somervell, after hearing 
both sides of the case, stated that he under- 
stood the service command point of view, 
but that in wartime control of transporta- 
tion should not be broken up by service 
command boundaries, and that the existing 
arrangement would stand. 55 

In December 1943 it was reported that 
the second, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth 
zone transportation officers were serving as 
representatives of both the service com- 
manders and the Chief of Transportation. 
It was not until September 1944, however, 
that General Gross was able to announce 
that all zone transportation officers had 
been designated transportation officers on 

34 1st Ind, CofT for CG SOS, 9 Mar 43, OCT 
HB Gross TZ's : Memo, sub : Arguments in Favor 
of Retaining TZ's under Direct Contl of CofT, 
prepared in OCT for use of CofT at Sv Comdrs 
Conf, 22-24 Jul 43, OCT HB Gross TZ's; Pro- 
ceedings of ZTO Conf, 24-26 Sep 43, p. 8, OCT 
HB TZ Gen. 

55 SvC Conf, p. 104, cited n. 53. 



the staffs of the corresponding service com- 
mands. 5,5 

In addition to the installations and ac- 
tivities which were assigned to them initially, 
the zone transportation officers acquired 
other responsibilities. In order to protect 
military and other government personnel 
traveling on official business from delays 
due to inability to obtain reserved accom- 
modations, the railroads began during 1942 
to set aside blocks of space for the use of 
such travelers. This arrangement did not 
fully meet the military needs, however, and 
during the summer of 1943 the Chief of 
Transportation established a chain of Army 
reservation bureaus. These bureaus, which 
eventually were located in more than forty 
important railroad centers throughout the 
country, were attached to other TC field 
installations for operation. 57 In October 
1943 more than forty open storage yards, 
which were operated by the railroads for 
the accommodation of Army equipment, 
were transferred for purposes of operational 
supervision from The Quartermaster Gen- 
eral to the Chief of Transportation, who 
delegated certain inspection responsibilities 
to the zones. 58 The Chief of Transportation 
delegated to the zone transportation officers 
certain responsibilities in connection with 
the operation and maintenance of utility 
railroads at Army installations, the opera- 
tion of Army railroad repair shops, the 
assignment of Army-owned buses to local 
transportation services in the vicinity of 

36 Memo, Exec OCT for ACofT, G's of Divs, 
etc., 10 Dec 43; Memo, Exec OCT for 1st ZTO, 
1 7 Nov 43, and Inch. Both in OCT 020 Reorg of 
TC Field Installations. See also OCT Cir 125-1, 
C 1,21 Sep 44, sub: ZTO's. 

57 WD Cir 40, Sec. I, 4 Feb 43 ; WD Memo W 
55-40-43, 24 Aug 43, sub: Army Reservation 
Bureau ; WD Cir 3%, Sec. I, 7 Oct 44. 

58 ASF Cir 89, Sec. II, 25 Sep 43 ; OCT Cir 
124, 4 Oct 43, sub : Insp of TC Stor Areas. 

Army installations and war industries, and 
the assignment and utilization of the great 
variety of administrative vehicles required 
by Army installations, except those of the 
Air Forces. 59 

The zone transportation organizations 
were concerned with all phases of traffic 
movement. In addition to the basic func- 
tions of the port agencies, the regulating 
stations, the holding and reconsignment 
points, and the consolidated car service, a 
wide range of duties was performed by 
transportation experts in the zone and dis- 
trict offices. 6 " These men took precautions 
to avoid congestion at important traffic 
centers, investigated the causes of slow de- 
liveries, gave special attention to movements 
which required expediting, worked with the 
transportation officers at Army installations 
and with the carriers to assure that the 
former's requirements of rail and motor 
equipment were promptly met, endeavored 
to correct practices at Army installations 
which resulted in the useless detention of 
cars and motor vehicles, and coached the 
transportation officers at Army installations 
in the techniques of full loading, proper 
documentation, and the correct routing of 
such shipments as were routed locally. The 
zone and district offices maintained an in- 
formation service on highway conditions to 
aid the motor carriers in routing their ve- 
hicles and assisted them in procuring spare 
parts, obtaining competent operating per- 
sonnel, and enforcing proper standards of 
maintenance. They also assisted the motor 
carriers in complying with state laws or in 
overcoming obstacles created by dissimilar 
regulations regarding the weights and 

59 These functions are detailed in |Ch. X| of this 

00 Zone and District Transportation Officers' 
Guide, Sees. 110.1, and 110.2, Nov 43, OCT HB 
TZ Gen. 

transportation officers. Railroad open storage yard at South Plainfield, N. J. (top). 
Aerial view of the Elmira Holding and Re consignment Point, N. Y. (bottom). 



measurements of vehicles permitted to use 
the highways. The}' aided the oversea sup- 
ply divisions at ports of embarkation in 
maintaining their shipping schedules by in- 
vestigating the causes for delayed shipments 
from technical service depots or contractors' 
plants to the ports, and delays in informing 
the ports of the nonavailability of requisi- 
tioned items. Toward the close of the war 
the first, second, and fourth zones had air 
freight regulating officers stationed at aerial 
ports of embarkation, which were operated 
by the Army Air Forces, to supervise the 
movement of oversea shipments of the 
Army Service Forces through those ports.'' 1 
In the Chief of Transportation's opinion, 
aiding the transportation officers at posts, 
camps, and stations to perform their duties 
efficiently and in accordance with the regu- 
lations was an important function of the 
zone organizations. Errors made at points 
where troop and supply movements orig- 
inated might result in delay, confusion, and 
added expense. Some local transportation of- 
ficers had little experience as background for 
their work, which involved complicated and 
technical procedures and frequently had to 
be performed under pressure. Yet in giving 
this aid the zone transportation officers 
worked under handicaps. The local transpor- 
tation officers were responsible in the first in- 
stance to the commanders of the installations. 
The commanders of Class I and Class II in- 
stallations were responsible to the service 
commanders, and after the zone transporta- 
tion officers had been appointed to the serv- 
ice command staffs they were in a position 
to give direct supervision to the transporta- 
tion activities at such installations, although 

cil WD Cir. 75, Sec. II, 8 Mar 45. The first air 
freight regulating officer began functioning for 2d 
zone in Nov 44. See 2d zone hist rpt for last quarter 
44, OCT HB 2d TZ. 

in so doing they were subject to the policies 
of the service commanders which sometimes 
were at variance with the instructions issued 
by the Chief of Transportation. Class III 
installations were under the control exclu- 
sively of the Army Air Forces and in dealing 
with them the Chief of Transportation's 
field representatives were limited to offering 
suggestions. The commanders of Class IV 
installations were responsible to the chiefs 
of the respective technical services, and the 
zone transportation officers therefore lacked 
authority to take direct action affecting 
their operations, except of course in the 
case of Transportation Corps installations.' " 
Under these circumstances the ability of 
the zone transportation officers to bring the 
practices of local transportation officers into 
harmony with the policies and procedures 
prescribed by the Chief of Transportation 
varied according to the type of installation 
and was dependent in many instances on 
the cordiality of the personal relations which 
existed between the zone officers and the 
installation and service commanders. While 
much was accomplished through the estab- 
lishment of such relations, it is noteworthy 
that postwar reports submitted by the sec- 
ond and sixth transportation zones, where 
the officers in charge were of broad experi- 
ence and unquestioned competence and 
where the relations with the service com- 
mands were satisfactory from the beginning, 
stressed the handicap under which they 
worked. Because of lack of authority to deal 
directly and positively with all local trans- 
portation officers they experienced great 
difficulty in establishing uniform practices 

AR 55-5, par 5b, 5 Oct 42. At the end of the 
war, ASF Cir 312, 16 Aug 45, sub: Responsibility 
— CG's of SvC's at Class IV installations, placed 
Class IV installations in same relationship to serv- 
ice commanders as Classes I and II. 



and a co-ordinated transportation pro- 
gram. 13 3 

From the time of their establishment until 
March 1945 all of the zone transportation 
offices and some of the district offices in- 
cluded supply divisions which performed a 
wide range of functions in connection with 
the Transportation Corps procurement pro- 
gram.*" 1 The zone supply officers maintained 
up-to-date records of the qualifications and 
past performances of contractors for guid- 
ance in future procurement. Although the 
bulk of the actual contracting was done by 
the Office of the Chief of Transportation, 
the zone supply officers placed orders for 
component parts and materials as author- 
ized by the Director of Supply. They super- 
vised the performances of contractors lo- 
cated in their respective zones, making in- 
spections to enforce specifications, assisting 
contractors in maintaining production 
schedules, and eventually testing and ac- 
cepting the finished products. They estab- 
lished the requirements of contractors in 
connection with the administration of the 
controlled materials plan. They represented 
the Chief of Transportation in proceedings 
connected with the termination of contracts 
and the disposition of termination inven- 
tories. They supervised the distribution and 
utilization of equipment furnished to con- 
tractors by the government. They exercised 
general supervision over the operation of 
the Transportation Corps depots, which 
were located at holding and reconsignment 
points and were subject to the direct super- 
vision of the commanders of the "points" 
in operational matters. Both the proeure- 

03 Memo, 2d ZTO for CofT, 20 Sep 45, OCT HB 
2d TZ; Memo, 6th ZTO for OCT, 18 Sep 45, p. 
10; Ltr, 6th ZTO to Exec Asst OCT, 2 Nov 45. 
Last two in OCT HB 6th TZ. 

Bi Zone and District Transportation Officers' 
Guide, Sec. 115.1, Nov 43, OCT HB TZ Gen. 

ment and depot responsibilities were di- 
vorced from the transportation zones in the 
spring of 1945, under circumstances which 
will be more fully explained in the next 

The transportation zones and districts 
had industrial relations officers who func- 
tioned in accordance with policies and prac- 
tices approved by the Chief of Transporta- 
tion. 03 They kept the manpower situation 
under close observation. They endeavored 
to forestall strikes at manufacturing plants 
which were working on Transportation 
Corps contracts or in the transportation in- 
dustry. When work stoppages occurred, 
they sought to effect prompt settlement of 
the disputes by informally bringing the par- 
ties together or by enlisting the services of 
federal or state agencies having legal au- 
thority to deal with such matters. The in- 
dustrial relations officers in the zones also 
assisted contractors in meeting their man- 
power problems by proposing methods for 
improving the utilization and the efficiency 
of the labor on hand and by supporting the 
contractors' efforts to bring additional labor 
to their plants when that seemed to be the 
only way of keeping up with production 

At the time of the establishment of the 
transportation zones, it was recognized that 
an approximation of uniformity in organi- 
zation was desirable, but that complete uni- 
formity was not practicable because of the 
variation in the functions performed in the 
several areas. CG Nevertheless, typical organ- 
ization charts were issued from time to time 

65 OCT Cir 21,9 Feb 43, sub: Estab of Port and 
Zone Ind Relations Div; TC Cir 5-2, 1 Jan 44, 
same sub ; Zone and District Transportation Officers' 
Guide, Sec. 1 10.6, Nov 43, OCT HB TZ Gen. 

66 Instruction 5—1, Operation and Instruction 
Manual, Zone and District Transportation Officers, 
22 Dec 42, OCT HB TZ Gen. 

z^gz 1 

a* ^ nJ CQ 


o . 

os co 

Z .. 


o ^ 

< 1 

OS « 

















J o 

£ u 


« O . 

Q C 
O > ^ 




<3 pei 
H w 

O E 





< o 

« 2 

CQ < 

^ o 2 

33^ 8 


2 3 

Z i/) 





> OS 

u & 



0, >-< 



B. OS < 

C K « 

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for the guidance of both zone and district 
officers. The zone chart published in the 
Zone and District Transportation Officers' 
Guide in November 1943 gives the most 
complete picture of the activities which the 
zones carried on during the greater part of 
their existence, and for that reason it is 
shown here as |Chart 4] It is to be noted 
that the railroad repair shops had not been 
designated Transportation Corps field in- 
stallations at that time, and that later they 
occupied a position in the zone organization 
similar to that of the holding and recon- 
signment points. The last wartime revision 
of the typical zone chart, issued 20 March 
1945, shows considerable simplification of 
organization and omits the supply division 
which then was scheduled for deletion from 
the zone structure. 67 

81 Copy of chart in OCT HB TZ Gen. See OCT 
HB files for respective zones for charts showing 
variations from typical organization. 

At the close of hostilities the transporta- 
tion zones included the nine zone transpor- 
tation offices and sixty-seven subordinate 
installations. The latter number does not 
take the reservation bureaus into account 
since they were attached to other TC instal- 
lations, nor does it include the railroad open 
storage yards which were operated by the 
railroads rather than the Transportation 
Corps. By that time (August 1945) all port 
agencies and regulating stations had been 
merged with or redesignated district trans- 
portation offices or branch offices. The ter- 
ritories embraced in the transportation 
zones and the names of the zone transporta- 
tion officers at different times during the 
war are shown in Appendix C. The types 
and locations of the subordinate installations 
at the end of the war are shown in Appen- 
dix D. 

The personnel of the zone transportation 
offices and their subordinate installations on 

Table 3 — Distribution of Personnel Among 
Transportation Zones: 31 March 1945 a 

Zone Number and Headquarters 




9,62 5 






II New York, N.Y 







IV Atlanta, Ga 







VI Chicago, 111 




VII Omaha, Nebr 




VIII Dallas, Texas 







e Data not available for contractors* personnel and prisoners of war employed at installations under the zone transportation 
officers. Supply divisions were still included in the zone organization, but were soon to be transferred. 

Source: Rpt, TC Personnel, 3 1 Mar 45, by Dir of Pers OCT, OCT HB Dir of Pers, Pers Statistics. 



31 March 1945, including military person- 
nel an d civilians direc tly employed, totaled 

9,625 |(see Table 3) | This figure does not 
include contractors' personnel and prisoners 
of war who performed transportation tasks 
at some of the installations. Exact data for 
such personnel arc not available, but an 
estimate based on fragmentary data indi- 
cates that the total did not exceed 5,000. 
Assuming that the activities embraced in 
the transportation zones employed between 
14,000 and 15,000, the number is small 
when compared with the personnel em- 
ployed at ports of embarkation (171 ,000 on 
31 December 1944). The comparison calls 
attention to the fact that the work of the 
transportation zones was mainly admini- 
strative and supervisory, while the work at 
the ports was mainly operational. 

Other Field Agencies 

While ports of embarkation and the trans- 
portation zones embraced the field agencies 
which were concerned directly with trans- 
portation and traffic, the Chief of Trans- 
portation's field establishment included a 
number of other activities. Those activities 
were concerned with the training of Trans- 
portation Corps personnel and the design, 
procurement, and distribution of Transpor- 
tation Corps materiel. Some of them were 
placed under the supervision of port com- 
manders or zone transportation officers be- 
cause those officers were qualified by expe- 
rience, or were favorably located, to give 
effective direction to the work. 

The first Transportation Corps unit train- 
ing center was established at the Indian- 
town Gap Military Reservation in Pennsyl- 
vania in July 1942, primarily to supplement 
the ports of embarkation in the training of 
port battalions. Initially the commander of 

the New York Port of Embarkation was in 
command of this activity, but control later 
passed to the Third Service Command. In 
January 1943 a Transportation Corps unit 
training center was established at New 
Orleans to train various types of units and 
it remained under the commander of the 
New Orleans Port of Embarkation through- 
out the war.''* These installations later were 
redesignated Army Service Forces unit 
training centers, but the Chief of Transpor- 
tation continued to be responsible for the 
establishment of training doctrine, pro- 
grams, and quotas for Transportation Corps 
units, and for conducting inspections to de- 
termine the technical progress of units in 

While the headquarters of the Military 
Railway Service was stationed at Fort Snell- 
ing, Minn., it supervised the training of rail- 
way troops, but when that headquarters was 
moved to North Africa in the winter of 1943 
the responsibility for such training was as- 
signed to the commander of the New 
Orleans Port of Embarkation. 7 " The basic 
military training of such troops was given 
at the New Orleans unit training center 
(later named Camp Plauche) , except when 
the program exceeded the capacity of that 
facility, in which case Fort Sam Houston, 
Tex., handled the overflow. 71 Most railway 
units received their technical and unit train- 

f,5 Memo 5 CofT for CG SOS, 10 Jun 42, sub: 
Estab of UTC, OCT 323.5 Misc 1942: Memo, 
CofT for CG NYPE, 1 1 Jul 42, OCT 353 Indian- 
town Gap: Memo, TAG for CG SOS, CofT, etc., 
10 Nov 42, AG 320.2 ( 1 1-1-42) SOS UTC New 
Orleans ; Memo, TAG for CG 3d SvC, CofT, etc., 
3 Jan 43, AG 320.3 ( 12-31-42) TC UTC. 

ra 'ASF Cir 104, Sec. Ill, 15 Apr 44: ASF Cir 
135, Sec. IV, 11 May 44. 

7,1 OCT Cir 49, 5 Apr 43, sub: Tng of Ry Trs. 

71 Memo, Rail Div OCT (Holland) for Hist 
Unit OCT, 16 Sep 44, sub: Tech and Mil Tng 
Sites, OCT HB Tng Div Unit Tng; TC Cir 35-4, 
1 Jan 44, sub: Tng of Ry Trs. 



ing on the right of ways and in the shops of 
commercial railroads, but a few were trained 
on the Claiborne and Polk Military Railway, 
a 50-mile stretch of track in Louisiana built 
by the Army specifically for training pur- 
poses. Railway replacements received tech- 
nical training at different times at Camp 
Claiborne, La., Camp Shelby, Miss., and 
Fort Francis E. Warren, Wyo. Late in the 
war, with the training task largely com- 
pleted, all training of railway troops, aside 
from that conducted on the commercial 
railroads, was transferred to Fort Francis E. 

In the spring of 1943 the Chief of Trans- 
portation began to train personnel for the 
operation and maintenance of small boats 
and amphibian trucks at Charleston, S. C, 
under the control of the commander of the 
Charleston Port of Embarkation. 72 Late in 
that year these activities were transferred to 
a newly established ASF training center at 
Camp Gordon Johnston in Florida, where 
more adequate facilities were available. At 
Camp Gordon Johnston the training of 
both units and replacements was under the 
operational control of the Fourth Service 
Command, but the Chief of Transportation 
was responsible for training doctrines and 

Several schools for the training of officers 
and officer candidates were operated by the 
Chief of Transportation. In October 1942 
the Atlantic Coast Transportation Corps 
Officer Training School was established at 
Fort Slocum under the control of the com- 
mander of the New York Port of Embarka- 
tion, and at the same time its Pacific coast 
counterpart was established at Camp Stone- 
man under the commander of the San Fran- 

72 Hist Rpt, Mil Tng Div OCT, Feb 45, sub: 
Tng of Units, pp. 15, 41, OCT HB Tng Div Rpts. 

cisco Port of Embarkation." Both were dis- 
continued during 1944, after the establish- 
ment of the Transportation Corps School 
at the New Orleans Air Base under the 
command of the commander of the New 
Orleans Port of Embarkation. The Trans- 
portation Corps Officer Candidate School 
originally was located at Mississippi State 
College but was transferred to the New 
Orleans Staging Area and placed under the 
command of the commander of the New 
Orleans Port of Embarkation in June 
1943. 74 It was moved to the New Orleans 
Air Base the following February and be- 
came the Officer Candidate Department of 
the Transportation Corps School. 

A Transportation Corps school for civil- 
ian marine officer cadets was established at 
St. Petersburg, Fla., in August 1943. Its 
purpose was to train cadets to the point 
where they could be commissioned and as- 
signed to harbor craft companies or as- 
signed as civilian officers to ocean-going 
Transportation Corps vessels. 7 '' This train- 
ing activity continued at St. Petersburg 
until April 1945, when it was transferred to 
New Orleans and became part of the civil- 
ian marine school which was conducted by 
the commander of the New Orleans Port of 
Embarkation. In both locations it was un- 
der the operational control of the Chief of 

The depots which stored and issued 
Transportation Corps equipment and sup- 

73 OCT Tng Memo 2> H Sep 42, OCT HB Tng 
Div Offs Schools; TC Cir 35-1, 25 Feb 44, sub: 
TC School. 

74 WD Memo W 350-&-43, 7 Jan 43, sub: 
Transfer of Adm OCS 4; TC OCS SO 134, 25 
Jun 43, OCT HB Tng Div OCS; TC Cir 35-1, 
25 Feb 44, sub: TC School. 

75 Annual Rpt, Dir of Pers, FY 1944, section on 
industrial personnel, p. 13; OCT Misc Ltr 150, 7 
May 45, sub; TC Marine Off Cadet School. Both 
in OCT HB Ind Pers Div Tng Civ Marine Pers. 



plies occupied space at holding and recon- 
signment points. During the greater part of 
the war they were operated by the com- 
manders of those installations, under the 
general supervision of the zone transporta- 
tion officers, and in accordance with policies 
and procedures established by the Director 
of Supply in the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation. 7 ' 5 In January 1945 the de- 
pots were made independent of the zones 
and responsible directly to the Distribution 
Division in the office of the Director of Sup- 
ply, but the commanders of the holding and 
reconsignment points continued to perform 
certain administrative and housekeeping 
functions for them. 77 The depots then were 
located in four holding and reconsignment 
points — Marietta, Pa., Voorheesville, N. Y., 
Montgomery, Ala., and Lathrop, Calif.; 
subdepots had been established at the Au- 
burn, Wash., and Yermo, Calif., holding 
and reconsignment points, and other sub- 
depots were contemplated. In view of the 
increasing number of depots and the grow- 
ing volume of materiel handled, as well as 
complications anticipated in connection 
with the shift of emphasis from Europe to 
the Pacific, centralization of control under 
the Director of Supply was considered desir- 
able in the interest of uniformity of operat- 
ing methods and over-all co-ordination. 

The decision to place a supply division in 
each of the nine zone transportation offices 
at the time of their establishment in Decem- 
ber 1942, and also in many of the district 
transportation offices, was inspired by the 
greatly increased supply program which 
then confronted the Chief of Transporta- 
tion, the multiplicity of contractors utilized 

70 TC Cir 5-11 rev., 6 Dec 44, sub: TC Depots; 
TC Pamphlet 1, Org Manual, Sec. 102.04 rev., 1 
Jul 44. 

77 TC Cir 5-11 rev., 19 Jan 45; TC Pamphlet 1, 
Org Manual, Sec. 210 rev., 1 5 Mar 45. 

754-915 O-M— 10 

by the Transportation Corps, the limited ex- 
perience and inadequate facilities possessed 
by many of those contractors, and the ob- 
vious need for close supervision over con- 
tractors to enforce specifications and main- 
tain production schedules. After the Trans- 
portation Corps supply organization and 
program had become better established and 
the major production problems had been 
met, it was found feasible and economical 
to reduce the number of supply offices in the 
field. 73 Accordingly, in March 1945 the 
Chief of Transportation announced that the 
supply divisions of the zone and district of- 
fices would be taken over by four new area 
procurement offices as rapidly as practic- 
able. The new offices, located in New York, 
Chicago, New Orleans, and San Francisco, 
were attached to the second, sixth, eighth, 
and ninth zone transportation offices for 
administrative purposes, and except at New 
Orleans the zone transportation officer was 
also the area procurement officer. Basically, 
however, the area procurement offices were 
independent field installations and the of- 
ficers in charge were responsible directly to 
the Procurement Division, which func- 
tioned under the Director of Supply in the 
Office of the Chief of Transportation. 

During the greater part of the war, re- 
search and development were conducted by 
the several operating and technical divisions 
of the Office of the Chief of Transportation 
as well as by the ports of embarkation, but 
in January 1945 the Chief of Transporta- 
tion established the Transportation Corps 
Board to give added impetus to this work. 70 

7B Memo, CofS ASF for CofT, 15 Feb 45, sub: 
TC Procurement, OCT HB Supply Org; TC Cir 
5—8, 9 Mar 45, sub: Consolidation of Zone and 
Dist Procurement Offices. 

79 TC Cir 5-7, 17 Jan 45, sub: TC Bd ; Hist of 
TC Bd, prepared at Fort Monroe and submitted to 
CofT, 22 Jun 45, OCT HB TC Bd. 



The board was to deal with a wider range 
of projects and to assure more thorough 
technical treatment for each. It was to de- 
velop not only improved designs and speci- 
fications for Transportation Corps equip- 
ment and supplies but also better training 
programs and operating procedures. This 
new field agency was situated at Fort Mon- 
roe, Va., and was responsible directly to the 
Chief of Transportation. 

Supervision by Headquarters 

A close supervision was exercised over 
the field installations by the Office of the 
Chief of Transportation, extending to all 
phases of their activity. The supervision in- 
cluded establishment of policies and proce- 
dures to improve efficiency and maintain 
basic uniformity among the several installa- 
tions, control of the acquisition of facilities 
and personnel to keep them in proper rela- 
tion to the amount of work to be performed, 
and analysis of results to determine whether 
they measured up to the desired standards. 
Although the Chief of Transportation him- 
self took an active interest in the function- 
ing of the field agencies, approved the 
major policies and procedures laid down 
for them, and followed the reports of their 
accomplishments from month to month, 
direct responsibility for supervision rested 
with the directors and divisions of his office. 

With regard to technical matters relating 
to transportation operations, military train- 
ing, and the various aspects of supply, the 
Chief of Transportation expected his head- 
quarters to keep the field installations under 
close observation and assist them wherever 
necessary with expert knowledge and guid- 
ance. It was General Gross' policy, how- 
ever, that supervision should not be carried 
to the point of stifling the initiative of the 

men in the field. Since technical supervision 
is discussed elsewhere, this brief review is 
confined to what broadly may be termed 
administrative supervision. 

The Director of Operations, in addition 
to co-ordinating the actual handling of 
movements by the field installations, was 
concerned with the readiness of the installa- 
tions to perform their tasks and with the 
distribution of the work load. He forecast 
the volume of troop and freight movements 
and notified the field agencies what their 
respective shares would be. In this he was 
aided by the Planning Division. He devel- 
oped with the respective installations the 
additions or reductions to be made in plants, 
equipment, and personnel in view of pros- 
pective increases or decreases in their work 
loads. The Port and Field Agencies Division 
did the detailed work on such matters. The 
Director of Operations kept informed re- 
garding conditions at important inland traf- 
fic centers and at the port staging areas and 
steamship terminals, and endeavored to 
keep the flow of traffic evenly distributed so 
as to avoid congestion at any point. In this 
activity he was assisted by the Movements 
Division with respect to troop traffic and 
by the War Department delegate to the 
interdepartmental Transportation Control 
Committee with respect to freight traffic. 

The constantly increasing volume of work 
to be handled by the Transportation Corps 
and the manpower shortage throughout the 
nation necessitated very close supervision 
by the Chief of Transportation of all person- 
nel matters affecting the field installations. 80 
The Director of Personnel was responsible 
for such supervision, and he was assisted by 

60 For over-all discussion of pers adm see Annual 
Rpt, Dir of Pers, FY 1944, and Rpts, Mil Pers Div 
and Ind Pers Div for FY 1945, OCT HB files, Dir 
of Pers, Mil Pers Div, Ind Pers Div. 



the Military Personnel Division and the In- 
dustrial Personnel Division. He scrutinized 
the requests for personnel in the light of the 
Transportation Corps' over-all authoriza- 
tion and the prospective work load of the 
respective installations, and issued authori- 
zations accordingly. Personnel survey teams 
were sent throughout the field to determine 
whether officers and civilians were being 
used efficiently and to propose improve- 
ments. In accordance with ASF policies, 
methods of work measurement were 
developed by which the efficiency of partic- 
ular groups was determined. 81 Monthly 
indices were computed, based on January 
1943 as 100, to show the relationship be- 
tween operating personnel and work load 
for the Transportation Corps in the zone 
of interior. The fact that the work load 
index for June 1945 was 363 whereas the 
operating personnel index was only 151 
indicates that the per capita work output 
increased substantially during this period. 82 

With regard to military personnel, the 
basic problem during the greater part of the 
war was to keep the field installations sup- 
plied with enough officers and enlisted men 
of proper grades and qualifications to fill 
the positions for which military personnel 
was considered the more desirable. The 
supply of officer personnel was a constant 
problem, because of the numbers with- 
drawn from the field installations to meet 
the requests of theater commanders. As 
pointed out by Lt. Col. (later Col.) Aram 

81 ASF Manual M 70 3-5, Jan 45, sub: Work 
Measurement; TC Pamphlet 14 rev., 15 Sep 45, 
sub: same. 

82 ASF MPR Sec. 3, Jun 45, p. 32. Work load 
index was based on volume of outbound and in- 
bound passenger and freight traffic handled by 
PE's. Operating personnel index was based on 
military and civilian personnel employed by TC in 
ZI, excluding troops in training and personnel on 
vessels in transoceanic service. 

Kojassar, Chief of the Military Personnel 
Division, the Chief of Transportation used 
far more enlisted men as operating person- 
nel than any other technical service, and 
more than any of the service commands. Of 
the 58,000 enlisted operating personnel as- 
signed to TC installations at the end of 
April 1944, more than 48 percent were 
eligible for oversea assignment. The Chief 
of Transportation's military personnel situa- 
tion, therefore, was deeply affected by the 
War Department's edict in 1944 that 
officers and enlisted men capable of general 
service be sent overseas. 83 The release of 
these men and their replacement with 
limited service men, Wacs, civilians, pris- 
oners of war, and Italian service units was 
a matter which required close attention 
and energetic efforts at headquarters. 

Because of the heavy turnover of officer 
personnel at Transportation Corps field in- 
stallations, care was necessary to insure that 
officers were assigned to the jobs for which 
they were best fitted. Qualification records 
and duty assignments were studied by a 
team of officers from headquarters, and re- 
assignments were recommended when cir- 
cumstances warranted. During the fiscal 
year 1944, 387 misassignments were cor- 
rected in this manner. 84 

Civilian personnel management at the 
field installations came under the super- 
vision of the Chief of Transportation's In- 
dustrial Personnel Division. The problems 
were acute. The setting up of jobs and the 
assignment of personnel in the rapidly 
growing organizations were frequently done 

83 Statement of Kojasser at Port and Zone Conf, 
6-9 Jul 44, morning meeting of 8 Jul, p. 4, OCT 
HB PE Gen Port Comdrs Conf; ASF MPR, Sec. 
5, 30 Apr 44, p. 29. Nearly all TC enlisted operat- 
ing personnel were at the ports. 

84 Annual Rpt, CofT, FY 1944, p. 64, OCT HB 
TC Gen Rpts. 



in haste, with resulting inequalities and 
dissatisfaction. The competition of other 
and more remunerative employment was 
increasingly severe, so that the turnover of 
employees was heavy. Relations with the 
maritime labor unions called for great cir- 
cumspection. The personnel officers in the 
field were coached in the rudiments of good 
management. Training was furnished to the 
men who served as classification analysts 
in order that job classification would pro- 
ceed on a uniform basis. A wage administra- 
tion manual was prepared to assist in the 
maintenance of uniform procedures. Classes 
were organized to improve the efficiency of 
employees, fit them for promotion, and 
diminish the temptation to look for jobs 
elsewhere. Incentives to improve effort and 
build up morale were introduced. A de- 
tailed set of regulations was promulgated 
by the Industrial Personnel Division to 
govern all aspects of the employment of 
marine personnel and promote the main- 
tenance of harmonious labor relations in 
that important field. 

The Chief of Transportation was not 
made responsible for intelligence and secur- 
ity at the field installations under his 
command when his office was created in 
March 1942; that responsibility rested first 
with the corps areas and later with the 
service commands. The arrangement did 
not work out satisfactorily at the ports of 
embarkation, however, and step by step the 
port commanders assumed direct control 
of these functions. 85 The port installations 
embraced a wide variety of activities of a 
specialized nature, which were not found at 
other Army stations and hence were not 
familiar to the service command personnel. 
Special knowledge and training were neces- 

sary for the proper protection of water-front 
facilities, for the inspection of ships, for 
dealing with longshore and marine labor, 
for indoctrinating troops at staging areas 
in preparation for their ocean voyage and 
arrival overseas, and for obtaining informa- 
tion of value to the Transportation Corps 
from military and civilian passengers and 
prisoners of war arriving from the theaters. 
The port commanders were in the best 
position to select and train personnel for 
these purposes, and to provide the facilities 
required by their work. Near the end of the 
war the port personnel dealing with such 
matters included 170 fire companies, 6,000 
military police, 7,000 auxiliary military 
police ( militarized civilian guards ) , and 
200 investigators. 

Supervision of these activities at the ports 
rested with the Intelligence and Security 
Division in the Office of the Chief of Trans- 
portation. Mi During the fiscal year 1945 the 
division reviewed 5,900 positive intelligence 
reports and disseminated the useful infor- 
mation gained from them, supervised the 
procedures employed for the military cen- 
sorship indoctrination of almost 2,000,000 
troops passing through the port staging 
areas en route overseas, and exercised staff 
supervision over the training of 286 officers 
in censorship schools. The division dealt 
in a supervisory way with such matters as 
character investigations of civilian em- 
ployees, investigations into alleged subver- 
sive activities, collection of information 
regarding war crimes from returning troops 
and prisoners of war, and indoctrination of 
returning troops in the safeguarding of mili- 
tary information. As the agency responsible 
for internal security, it had oversight of the 

Hil Gross final rpt, p. 118. 

KG See Hist Rpt, Int and Security Div, FY 1945, 
OCT Int and Security Div. 



preparation of fire regulations, the opera- 
tion of fire-fighting schools, the organization 
and equipment of emergency riot forces, the 
training of military police, and the develop- 
ment of antipilferage measures. Its technical 
intelligence functions included surveillance 
of the handling of classified documents and 
the transmission of confidential shipping 
information by telephone, dissemination 
of technical transportation information 
gathered from captured enemy documents, 
and the procurement of captured German 
transportation equipment for study by the 
Transportation Corps School. Utilizing two 
inspectors on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts 
and two on the Pacific coast, the division 
carried out 175 inspections at the ports 
during the fiscal year 1945, which resulted 
in 800 recommendations dealing with the 
details of intelligence and security arrange- 

Safety at the ports of embarkation also 
was a responsibility of the Intelligence and 
Security Division. A number of the port 
occupations were hazardous, especially that 
of the longshoremen, and the hazard was 
increased by the necessity of night work 
and the pressure to meet convoy sailing 
dates. The problem was attacked from all 
angles, including the education of workmen 
in the necessity for care, specific training in 
the avoidance of accidents, the establish- 
ment of accident prevention rules, and the 
installation and testing of safety devices. 
Substantial results were achieved by this 
program, which was given special impetus 
beginning in 1944 when all activity at the 
ports was intensified. In 1943 the accident 
frequency rate (number of time-loss in- 
juries per million man-hours worked) for 
all War Department personnel at ports of 
embarkation was 20.38, in 1944 it was 
14.08, and during the first five months of 

1945 it was 12. 66. 87 The accident frequency 
rate for military personnel at ports of em- 
barkation (number of disabling injuries per 
1,000 mean strength per year), which was 
45.9 in July 1944, dropped to 36.9 in 
December 1944, and averaged 34.3 for the 
first five months of 1945. The motor vehicle 
safety program, which did not get under 
way until late in 1944, brought an im- 
provement in the accident frequency rate 
for passenger cars and trucks (number of 
accidents per 100,000 miles of operation) 
from 3.94 in January 1945 to 2.73 in May. 

The Control Division in the Office of the 
Chief of Transportation had a significant 
role in the supervision of the field installa- 
tions. A major portion of its effort was 
devoted to keeping the Chief informed 
regarding the accomplishments and prob- 
lems of the installations and assisting in the 
development of organizations and pro 
ccdures to promote their effectiveness and 
efficiency. In accordance with General 
Somervell's policy, the larger field installa- 
tions also had control divisions and the 
smaller ones had control officers, all of 
which functioned under the guidance of 
the Control Division at headquarters and 
assisted it in the performance of its task.* 8 
General Gross attached great importance 
to the work of this division, made it directly 
responsible to him, and encouraged it in 
the aggressive performance of its mission. 

The monthly progress report prepared by 
the Control Division was a collection of sta- 
tistical tabulations and charts, accompanied 

87 Ibid., pp. 18—19. Since the basis of computa- 
tion is different, accident frequency rates for the 
several categories of employees are not to be 

8S See Manual for Control Officers, prepared by 
Contl Div SOS, approximately Oct 42; OCT Cir 
73, 2 Nov 42, sub: Estab of Contl Div in Field 



by brief explanatory or interpretative notes, 
covering the more significant aspects of the 
Transportation Corps' activities. 89 The 
report regularly included studies of import- 
ant phases of inland transportation, ocean 
transportation, port operation, and ship 
utilization, and periodically it included 
studies of other phases which were of par- 
ticular interest at the moment. In addition 
to the monthly report, special and more de- 
tailed studies were prepared when they 
were needed to clear up problems. The data 
assembled by the Control Division provided 
a basis for comparing the several field in- 
stallations from the standpoint of both op- 
erational and administrative efficiency. 
They were used in bringing to the attention 
of the installation commanders the features 
in which their commands appeared to be 
weak, and in proposing corrective measures. 
The data were assembled from many 
sources, including the installations them- 
selves, the several divisions in the Office of 
the Chief of Transportation, and other 
agencies such as the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration, the Maritime Commission, the 
Combined Shipping Adjustment Board, the 
Transportation Control Committee, the 
Office of Defense Transportation, and the 
Association of American Railroads. Fre- 
quent visits to field installations by members 
of the Control Division provided data and 
general information not available through 
the routine reporting system. 

The Control Division analyzed the 
methods and procedures by which the var- 
ious elements of the Transportation Corps 
accomplished their missions and proposed 

S9 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Transportation. Although 
issued as ASF document, this report was prepared 
entirely in Contl Div OCT. Full set- in OCT HB 

improvements. 30 A generous part of its 
effort was devoted to procedures in con- 
nection with the marking and documenting 
of shipments, the oversea supply operations 
of the ports of embarkation, and the dis- 
tribution of information regarding ship- 
ments and troop movements to all con- 
cerned. These were fields in which peace- 
time practices failed to meet the require- 
ments of war. The late establishment and 
rapid expansion of the Transportation 
Corps gave little opportunity for study of 
such matters during the early part of hostili- 
ties, but such study was emphasized as the 
war progressed. The Control Division was 
aided by a procedures committee, which 
included representatives of other elements 
of the Office of the Chief of Transportation. 
Collaborating with the War Department 
Code Marking Policy Committee, the divi- 
sion aided in the development of a marking 
system which provided the information 
needed by shippers, consignees, carriers, and 
Transportation Corps installations, and yet 
preserved necessary security in the execu- 
tion of troop and supply movements. It 
worked closely with Army Service Forces 
headquarters in the development of the 
War Department Shipping Document and 
the Vendor's Shipping Document, which 
provided the necessary papers for both do- 
mestic and oversea shipments, with reduced 
paper work and increased clarity. It worked 
with Army Service Forces headquarters and 
the Navy in the preparation of a' manual 
which included uniform shipping proce- 
dures for the Army and the Navy where such 

uo Memo, C of Contl Div for Exec Off OCT, 5 
Nov 45, sub: Accomplishments and Handicaps, 
OCT HB Contl Div Rpts ; TC Cir 5-9, 8 Feb 44, 
sub: TC Procedures Com; ASF M 401, 25 Jan 
44, sub: WD Shipping Document; ASF M 410, 5 
May 44, sub: Vendor's Shipping Document; WD 
TM-38-412, Mar 45, sub: U.S. Army and Navy 
Ocean Shipping Procedures. 



were found practical, gave information re- 
garding the methods of each service where 
uniformity could not be achieved, and pro- 
vided for an adequate flow of information 
regarding Army and Navy troop and cargo 
movements to and within the theaters. The 
Control Division also developed and super- 
vised a plan by which Transportation Corps 
officers at the ports and in the transporta- 
tion zones took measures to insure compli- 
ance of Army depots and contractors with 
the complicated regulations relating to the 
packing and marking of shipments, the uti- 
lization of shipping documents, and other 
procedural matters. 

Other activities of the Control Division 
which affected the field installations were 
its effort to reduce as much as possible the 
time-consuming compilation of recurrent 
reports and its supervision of a work simpli- 
fication program. The latter program, wfiich 
was initiated throughout the Army Service 
Forces in March 1943, was based on a study 
of individual and gang operations, for the 
purpose of eliminating unnecessary motions 
and improving the utilization of equipment 
in order to save man-hours. Several types of 
Transportation Corps installations provided 
good fields for this type of study, particu- 
larly the ports of embarkation and the hold- 
ing and reconsignment points, which had 
extensive freight handling operations. Each 
installation was assigned a monthly quota 
of work simplification study to be accom- 
plished, and was coached in the conduct 
of the activity. The results were gratifying. 
Jobs originally requiring an expenditure of 
22,750,000 man-hours per month were an- 
alyzed, with a saving of 3,594,000 man- 
hours per month, or almost 16 percent. 91 

91 See Manpower Utilization Report on Work 
Simplification, by ASF Contl Div, May 44, OCT 
HB Contl Div Procedures; Gross final rot. d. 1 22. 

With regard to the organizational struc- 
ture of field installations, the records do not 
always indicate where the proposals for 
change originated. The effort for greater 
uniformity in the organization of the zone 
transportation offices originated in the Con- 
trol Division. The effort to standardize the 
organization of the ports of embarkation ap- 
pears to have originated in the office of the 
Director of Operations. Changes in the or- 
ganization of the several types of installa- 
tions functioning under the zone transporta- 
tion officers often originated with the op- 
erating divisions which had the most direct 
interest in the functioning of those installa- 
tions. In all cases, however, the Control 
Division studied and evaluated the pro- 
posals from the standpoint of their probable 
effect on efficiency. 

General Gross considered periodical con- 
ferences between the key personnel of his 
office and the key officers of the port and 
zone establishments an important element 
of supervision. Numerous references will be 
found throughout this history to statements 
made and directions given at such confer- 
ences. They contributed substantially to the 
understanding which officers at headquarters 
and those in the field had of each other's 
problems and opinions. In particular they 
enabled the Chief of Transportation to de- 
termine by a frank exchange of views how 
far new policies and procedures could be 
imposed upon the field without disturbing 
unduly the smooth performance of their 
work. The conferences were held at about 
six-month intervals. The early meetings 
were called for either port or zone officers. 
Later, both attended the same conferences; 
they met jointly with the officers from head- 
quarters to consider matters of common in- 
terest, and separately when matters of pecu- 
liar interest were discussed. During these 



meetings General Gross arranged for per- 
sonal and confidential talks with his field 
representatives, so that they might feel en- 
tirely free in presenting their problems, par- 
ticularly in discussing the service and sup- 
port which they were getting from the head- 
quarters staff in Washington. 

Demobilization Planning and Adjustments 

Concrete planning for the adjustments to 
be made in the field establishment after the 
cessation of hostilities was initiated in the 
Transportation Corps, as in other elements 
of the Army Service Forces, more than a 
year before the Japanese capitulation. 1 * 2 
This was a difficult problem for the Chief 
of Transportation, because of uncertainty 
regarding the rate of demobilization in the 
Army as a whole and the extent to which 
occupation forces would be retained over- 
seas. It is not the intent to trace in this 
volume the intricate process by which the 
pertinent information was gathered and 
plans for the inactivation of Transportation 
Corps installations were evolved. It seems 
desirable, however, to note briefly the sig- 
nificant adjustments which took place dur- 
ing the demobilization period. 

From the start of the planning for post- 
war adjustments it was foreseen that after 
the peak of the repatriation movement had 
been passed it would be feasible to inacti- 
vate all Army port installations except those 
at New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, 
and Seattle. Also, it was foreseen that the 
piers, warehouses, and other facilities which 
had been rented by the port commanders 
could be released rapidly, and in fact such 

02 Memo, CofS ASF for CofT, 20 May 44, sub: 
Command Facilities; 1st Ind, CofT for CG ASF, 
29 Jun 44. Both in OCT 323.31 Utilization of 
Command Facilities. 

release was begun well in advance of V-J 
Day. 93 The New York and San Francisco 
installations, it may be noted, were in op- 
eration when World W r ar II began, and 
the New Orleans and Seattle installations 
were the first to be authorized during the 
emergency period. By the end of May 1946 
the number of Army ports had been re- 
duced to these four. Thereafter, the New 
York Port of Embarkation handled the bulk 
of the Army's transatlantic traffic ; the New 
Orleans Port of Embarkation served the 
Panama Canal and the Caribbean bases, 
and loaded a large quantity of civilian re- 
lief supplies for Europe; the San Francisco 
Port of Embarkation handled the trans- 
pacific traffic ; the Seattle Port of Embarka- 
tion was concerned principally with traffic 
to and from Alaska. 

The abnormal wartime conditions re- 
sponsible for the establishment of the instal- 
lations which functioned under the supervi- 
sion of the zone transportation officers 
abated rapidly after the termination of hos- 
tilities. Holding and reconsignment points, 
regulating stations, freight consolidating 
stations, freight distributing agencies, and 
reservation bureaus soon became unneces- 
sary, and by April 1946 all had been in- 
activated or were scheduled for inactivation. 
Also, the work performed by the technical 
staffs of the zone and district offices greatly 
declined in volume. Accordingly, in the in- 
terest of economy, the transportation zones 
were consolidated with the service com- 
mands, effective 1 May 1946. 94 The trans- 
portation officers of the service commands 
thereafter acted as agents of the Chief of 
Transportation in the performance of func- 
tions for which he was responsible, and di- 

93 See list of facilities released by TC up to 28 
Feb 46, OCT HB Port and Field Agencies Div. 

94 ASF Cir 97, Sec. I, 18 Apr 46. 



rect communication between the Chief of 
Transportation and those transportation 
officers regarding such matters was author- 
ized. This relationship continued when, a 
few weeks later, the functions of the service 
commands were taken over by six newly 
created Army areas. 1 ' 5 Although the zone 
transportation organization which the war- 
time Chief of Transportation had cham- 
pioned so vigorously thus lost its identity 
during the first year of postwar readjust- 
ment, the validity of the institution was re- 
affirmed in the Transportation Annex to the 
War Department Basic Plan of 1 October 

1946, which provided for its re-establish- 
ment if another emergency should arise. 06 

As the number of active Army installa- 
tions decreased, the amount of utility rail- 
way equipment in operation decreased cor- 
respondingly, and two of the four railroad 
repair shops were closed. The shops at 
Holabird and Ogden, which continued in 
operation, functioned directly under the 
supervision of the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation, rather than under the trans- 
portation officers of the Army areas. 97 Many 
of the railroad open storage yards continued 
to serve the Army under contracts arranged 
by the Chief of Transportation until early 

1947, when thirty-three of them were de- 
clared surplus to the War Department and 
transferred to the control of the War Assets 
Administration. 98 The procurement offices 
at Chicago and New Orleans were inactiv- 
ated in April 1946, and those at New York 
and San Francisco were attached to the 

95 WD Cir 138, par. 6, 14 May 46. 

06 See Transportation Annex, par. 9h rev., 14 
Jan 47. 

07 TG Cir 5-13 rev., 1 May 46, sub: Opn of TC 
RR Repair Shops. 

ott Memo, CofEngrs for CofT, 28 Feb 47, sub: RR 
Open Stor Yds Excess to WD; Memo, CofT for 
CofEngrs, 4 Mar 47. Both in OCT 619.5 Open 
Stor Yds. 

ports of embarkation at those points, to con- 
tinue the work of contract termination, con- 
tract settlement, and property disposal.™ Of 
the seven depots and subdepots which were 
in operation at the close of hostilities, four 
were closed out promptly, leaving only the 
depots at Marietta, Voorheesville, and 
Lathrop in operation after 31 October 
1945. 11,0 Eventually, all except the Marietta 
depot were discontinued, but the Transpor- 
tation Corps also occupied sections of the 
five general distribution depots which were 
established under the Army's postwar depot 
plan, announced in May 1947. 101 The 
Transportation Corps Board continued to 
function as a permanent field installation, 
but was transferred from Fort Monroe to 
the New York Port of Embarkation in May 

The arrangements for training Trans- 
portation Corps troops during the war 
presented several disadvantages which were 
corrected after V-J Day. One basic fault 
was that technical training for different 
types of units was given at different installa- 
tions, which meant that units which were 
required to work together in the theaters, 
such as port companies, amphibian truck 
companies, and harbor boat companies, 
were not trained together in the zone of in- 
terior. Also, the Chief of Transportation 
believed that having certain training cen- 
ters under the operational control of the 
service commands, as was the case during 
the latter part of the war, made it more 
difficult for his Military Training Division 

"OCT Misc Ltr (Corrected), 25 Apr 46, sub: 
Changes . . . Procurement Offices, OCT HB 
Supply Org. 

100 Memo, Dir of Materiel and Supply OCT for 
C of Req and Dist Div OCT, 13 Sep 45, OCT HB 
Supply Depots. 

101 TC Cir 45-55-1, 18 Jul 47, sub: Postwar 
Depot System. 



to establish methods and enforce standards 
than would have been the case if they had 
been under Transportation Corps control. 102 
The suggestion was put forward early in 
1944 that a single Transportation Corps 
unit training center be established, but it 
was not acted on at that time. 103 A concrete 
proposal to that end was placed before 
Army Service Forces headquarters in May 
1945, with the recommendation that Fort 

102 Gross final rpt, p. 114. 

103 Proceedings, Port Comdrs Conf, 11-14 Jan 
44, I, 131-33, OCT HB PE Gen; Memo, CofT 
for Dir of Mil Tng ASF, 2 May 45, AG 354.1 
(1945) Dir of Mil Tng; ASF Cir 11, Sec. II, 14 
Jan 46; TC Cir 35-1 rev., 7 Mar 46, sub: TC 

Eustis, Va., be selected as the site for the 
activity. During the following January the 
Army Service Forces announced the estab- 
lishment of an ASF training center at Fort 
Eustis, to be operated as a Class IV activity 
under the control of the Chief of Transpor- 
tation. Two months later the Chief of 
Transportation arranged that the Trans- 
portation Corps School also should be 
moved to Fort Eustis. After the dissolution 
of the Army Service Forces, Fort Eustis 
functioned as a Transportation Corps in- 
stallation embracing the Transportation 
Training Center and the Transportation 
School.' 04 

104 WD Cir 294, 27 Sep 46. 


The Critical Role of Shipping 

Throughout the war the demand for 
ships exceeded the supply, with the result 
that from first to last ocean transportation 
was a persistent and sometimes a serious 
limiting factor to be dealt with in planning 
strategy and preparing for combat opera- 
tions. This was true despite the fact that the 
submarine, which in the early stages ser- 
iously threatened our lines of communica- 
tions, eventually was curbed and that the 
shipping losses suffered by the Allies were 
more than offset by the magnificent Ameri- 
can shipbuilding achievement. In a war of 
such great proportions, the task of moving 
men and supplies between the zone of in- 
terior and the theaters of operation, and 
within the theaters, created a need for ves- 
sels which never was wholly satisfied. A 
careful co-ordination of military plans with 
anticipated shipping capabilities was there- 
fore necessary. Even then, new develop- 
ments frequently created unforeseen de- 
mands. This latter fact is illustrated by a 
statement of the British Prime Minister to 
the House of Commons late in February 
1945. He said: "The reason why shipping 
is so tight at present is because the peak 
period of the war in Europe has been pro- 
longed for a good many months beyond 
what was hoped last autumn, and mean- 
while the peak period against Japan has 

been brought forward by American vic- 
tories in the Pacific." 1 

At the outbreak of World War II the 
ocean-going merchant shipping of all na- 
tions, counting vessels of 1,000 gross tons 
or more, totaled 13,004 vessels of 59,078,- 
000 gross tons, or 81,359,000 deadweight 
tons. 2 This represented a tonnage increase 
of more than 50 percent over the vessels of 
comparable size under all flags at the be- 
ginning of World War I. 3 The volume of 
shipping registered under the flags of the 
principal maritime nations on 1 September 
1939 is shown below, and it is noteworthy 
that the United States and the British Em- 
pire between them controlled about 45 per- 
cent of the total deadweight of 81,359,000 
given above for all nations : 

1 Quoted by Acting Secy State Joseph C. Grew, 
in "Our Global War," Department of State Bul- 
letin, March 4, 1945, p. 329. In this address Mr. 
Grew said, "There is ... a serious shortage of 
shipping. There has been ever since the beginning 
of the war and there probably will be a shortage 
until some months after the final defeat of the 

2 Statistical study, Merchant Fleets of the World, 
as of 1 Sep 39, prepared by Div of Economics and 
Statistics, Mar Com, 24 Aug 45. Vessels on Great 
Lakes and inland waterways, icebreakers and other 
specialized types excluded. Copy in OCT HB Topic 
Shipping Statistics — All Countries. 

3 Exactly comparable data are not found, but 
J. A. Salter, Allied Skipping Control (Oxford, 
1921), p. 8, states that in midsummer 1914 world 
shipping of 1,600 gross tons or more totaled 8,445 
vessels of 35,145,000 gross tons. 




No. of Vessels 

Gross Tons 

Deadweight Tons 

British Empire 




United States 







































Although the United States ranked sec- 
ond among the maritime nations of the 
world in September 1939, it began feeling 
the effects of a shipping shortage long be- 
fore it was forced to abandon the role of 
nonbelligerent. The war in Europe stimu- 
lated a demand for vessels throughout the 
world, with the result that American op- 
erators reached out into new services and 
foreign purchasers and charterers actively 
entered the market for American bottoms. 
The President's policy was to help the de- 
mocracies with shipping as well as with sup- 
plies and equipment. The accelerated im- 
portation of strategic raw materials, for im- 
mediate use in the manufacture of muni- 
tions and for stockpiling against the day 
when the sources of those materials might 
be cut off, created additional demands for 
ocean-going vessels. On top of this came 
the increased transportation needs of the 
armed forces, which were engaged in build- 
ing up oversea bases and otherwise prepar- 
ing for eventualities.* Confronted with many 
competing demands for the limited number 

4 See United States Maritime Commission Report 
to Congress for the Period Ended October 25, 
1940, pp. 1-2, 24-25; . . . Period Ended October 
25, 1941, pp. 1-2, 34-36. Hereafter cited as Mar 
Com Rpt, 

of vessels that were available, the Army and 
the Navy found shipping one of their major 
problems. The difficulties which they ex- 
perienced in this field during the period of 
transition from peace to war throw interest- 
ing side lights on the nation's state of un- 

Early Military Requirements 

The outbreak of war in Europe neces- 
sitated early adjustments in the Army's 
ocean transportation program. For several 
years prior to 1939 the Army Transport 
Service had operated six transports — four 
troopships and two freighters. Early in 1939 
two additional troopships had been ac- 
quired as replacements for two which were 
outmoded and scheduled for decommission- 
ing. 5 These vessels were operated by the 
New York and San Francisco Ports of Em- 
barkation, in scheduled services between 
those ports and to Puerto Rico, the Pana- 
ma Canal, Hawaii, and the Philippines. 

5 Memo, QMG for CofS USA, 23 Jan 39, 
G-4/297 17-26; Ltr, SW to Ghm Mar Com, 13 
Feb 39, G-4/297 17-26; Memo, QMG for TAG, 
20 Jul 39, sub: Army Trans Schedule for FY 1940, 
OCT 561 Army Transports. The small military 
establishment in Alaska was served chiefly by 
commercial carriers. 

PREWAR ARMY TRANSPORTS. The freighter, Ludington, in Army service since 
1931 (top). The troop transport U. S. Grant, a former German vessel seized during 

World War I (bottom). 



Developments in Europe in the late sum- 
mer of 1939 called for the early dispatch of 
reinforcements to Panama and Puerto Rico, 
and the need for strengthening the Armv 
Transport Service was at once apparent. 
Because the existing transports were old and 
poorly suited to the Army's requirements, 
it was proposed to proceed with the design- 
ing of a new vessel — a matter which had 
been under discussion for some time. A 
contract for the preparation of designs was 
let to a New York firm of marine architects 
and that work eventually was completed, 
but authority to construct the vessel was 
not requested. The immediacy of the need 
led to the acquisition by the Army of an 
additional old passenger vessel in Novem- 
ber 1939 and an additional old freighter 
during the following month. 7 The plan to 
decommission two transports was changed 
and the vessels were returned to service after 
some reconditioning. At the end of 1939, 
therefore, the Army was operating seven 
troopships and three freighters. 

That still was the status of the Army 
Transport Service when in May 1940 a 
sailing schedule for the ensuing fiscal year 
was approved. 8 The schedule soon was seen 
to be inadequate, because of the accelera- 
tion of the rearmament program which 
followed the German successes in northern 
and western Europe. Pursuant to conversa- 

"Merno, ACofS G-3 for TAG, 26 Aug 39, sub: 
Reinforcements to Panama, G-4/29717-30; Memo, 
G-3 for TAG, 5 Sep 39, sub: Trs to Puerto Rico, 
G-4/29717-30; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 
9 Sep 39, sub: Specifications and Plans for New 
Army Transport; Memo, QMG for ACofS G— 4, 
21 Feb 40, sub: Employment of Sp Svs for Trans- 
port Cons. Last two in G-4/ 297 1 7-31. 

7 Memo, QMG for ASW, 17 Nov 39, sub: 
Acquisition by WD of U.S. Ships, OCT 561 Army 
Transports; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 19 
Oct 39, sub: SS Ancon, G-4/29717-30. 

8 6th Ind, TAG for QMG, 25 May 40, 

tions with members of the Advisory Com- 
mission to the Council of National Defense, 
which began in June 1940, the Secretary of 
War wrote to the Commission in August, 
pointing out the inadequacy and unsuit- 
ability of the existing transports and urging 
the Commission to make funds available 
for the construction of four new vessels. 1 ' 
This was in a sense a revival of the earlier 
proposal to build a new and specially de- 
signed transport, and it was contemplated 
that the designs for that vessel, which by 
then were well advanced, would be used. 
The Advisory Commission stated, however, 
that it had no funds for the purpose, and 
because of the urgency of the need the 
Army then turned its attention to the ac- 
quisition of vessels which could be utilized 
at once. A survev by The Quartermaster 
General of ships already in service, and an 
effort to obtain from the Maritime Com- 
mission the allocation of two vessels which 
were under construction, disclosed the diffi- 
culties involved in increasing the transport 
fleet — difficulties that were due to the great 
demand for ships in the world market and 
to the Army's lack of ready funds for the 
purpose. 10 

Action to increase the Army transport 
fleet substantially came late in 1940. A re- 
port was submitted by G— 4 to the Chief of 
Staff in mid-November, showing the antici- 
pated shipping requirements and capabili- 
ties, and recommending the acquisition of 
additional vessels. Within a few weeks an 
enlarged program was submitted, calling 

°Ltr, SW to Chm Adv Com, 3 Au* 40, 
G-4/29717-41 ; Ltr, SW to Adv Com, 23 Aug 
40; Ltr, Secy Adv Com to SW, 29 Aug 40. Last 
two in OCT 561 Army Transports. 

10 Memo, QMG for DCofS USA, 19 Sep 40, 
G-4/29717-44; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 
23 Sep 40, sub: Army Transports, G-4/ 297 17-26; 
Ltr, Chm Mar Com to SW, 18 Sep 40, AG 571.4 
(7—11—40) Army Transports. 



for the purchase and conversion of three 
passenger liners and one freighter, the char- 
ter and conversion of seven passenger ships 
and four freighters, the purchase of two 
small transports for use by the Alaska and 
Puerto Rico commands, and the recondi- 
tioning of existing transports to enable them 
to meet the requirements of the steamboat 
inspection service. The Secretary of War 
requested the President to authorize him to 
incur obligations totaling $17,508,800 for 
these purposes at once, stating that he did 
not consider it feasible to wait for Congres- 
sional action because of the backlog of traf- 
fic and the increasing scarcity of ships. The 
President indorsed this letter, "approved 
subject to O.K. by Budget Director." The 
latter official gave his approval. 11 

By early 1941 the seriousness of the world 
shipping shortage had been deeply im- 
pressed on all concerned and the need for 
a more closely knit national program was 
apparent. In February the President took 
specific steps to deal with the situation, 12 
First, in a note addressed jointly to the Sec- 
retary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, 
and the Chairman of the Maritime Commis- 
sion, he pointed out that the shortage was 
likely to increase in months to come and 
directed that the Army and the Navy take 
over "a minimum number of merchant 
ships" for their own use and insure that these 
ships "not be kept idle." A few days later 
the President instructed the Chairman of 
the Maritime Commission to co-ordinate 
the employment of American shipping care- 

11 Memo, C-4 for CofS USA, 14 Nov 40, sub: 
Water Trans; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 2 
Dec 40, sub: Water Trans; Ltr, SW to the Presi- 
dent, 4 Dec 40; Memo, SW for CofS USA, 14 Dec 
40. sub: Expenditure for W r ater Trans. All in 
G-4/ 297 17-41. 

13 Memo, 4 Feb 41; Ltr, 10 Feb 41. Both in 
G-4 ;'297 17-48. 

fully in order to obtain maximum utiliza- 
tion, to co-ordinate the acquisition and cre- 
ation of additional ships and shipping facili- 
ties, and to aid the Office of Production 
Management by expediting the shipment of 
materials essential to its program. 

In order to deal more effectively with 
these and related problems the Maritime 
Commission created a Division of Emer- 
gency Shipping, and gradually the commis- 
sion's regulatory activities expanded. 1 ' Al- 
though it lacked authority for direct action, 
it soon began to exercise such influence as 
it possessed to check the rapid advance in 
berth and charter rates charged American 
shippers — a matter in which the Army as 
a large shipper took an active interest. The 
Presidents declaration of an unlimited 
emergency on 27 May 1941 placed in effect 
the commission's authority to requisition 
vessels of American registry, and Congress 
promptly authorized the utilization of for- 
eign flag vessels which were lying idle in 
American harbors. The Ship Warrants Act, 
approved in July 1941 , gave the commission 
effective means of controlling the employ- 
ment of privately operated vessels of both 
American and foreign registry, and the 
rates charged, by the granting of priorities 
for the use of docking, repairing, and fuel- 
ing facilities. 11 

The President's action in February 1941 
reflected a suspicion that the Army and the 
Navy were acquiring vessels which they 
did not need immediately, or were not uti- 

1:1 Mar Com Adm Order 37, Supp. 29, 28 Feb 
41, OCT HB Mar Com Opns. 

14 Memos, Chm of Trans Adv Group for C of 
Trans Div OQMG (Cordiner), 6 Mar 41, and 
(Dillon), 4 Apr 41, OCT HB Mar Com Opns; Mar 
Com press release, 1 May 41, OCT HB Mar Com 
Opns; Mar Com. Rpt for period ending October 
25, 1941, pp. 7, 37: PL 101, 77th Cong.j approved 
6 Jun 41 ; PL 1 73, 77th Cong., approved 14 Jul 41. 



lizing fully. A spokesman for the Maritime 
Commission had indicated that additional 
ships would be turned over to the Army only 
insofar as it could show that commercial 
vessels could not meet its requirements. 35 
Mr. John M. Franklin, member of The 
Quartermaster General's Transportation 
Advisory Group, called attention to the ad- 
vantages to be gained by operating the 
American merchant marine as a national 
pool under centralized control, rather than 
distributing the vessels among a number of 
agencies — a doctrine well supported by the 
experiences of World War 

The Army, however, had additional re- 
quirements which it considered minimum 
and continued to press for more ships. The 
chairman of the Transportation Advisory 
Group observed from the negotiations that 
there was a lack of understanding between 
the Army and the Maritime Commission 
and urged the adoption and enunciation of 
certain policies by the Army with a view to 
overcoming this handicap, including the 
policy of using commercial vessels for Army 
movements to the extent consistent with 
military requirements. Although space on 
commercial vessels was used increasingly, a 
clear statement of Army policy on the sub- 
ject was not forthcoming. The War Depart- 
ment succeeded in obtaining additional ves- 
sels from the Maritime Commission, but 
not without difficulty. At the end of April 
1941 the Army Transport Service was op- 
erating 26 ships, of which 24 were owned 

5,5 Memo, C of Trans Div OQMG (Cordiner) for 
QMG (Gregory), 25 Jan 41, OCT 561 Army 

10 Ltr, Franklin to Chm of Trans Adv Group, 24 
Jan 41 ; Memos, Chm Trans Adv Group for C of 
Trans Div OQMG (Cordiner), 6 Feb 41 and 19 
Feb 41. All in G-4/297 1 7-48. 

by the War Department and two were 
chartered. 17 

With the limited fleet under his control 
and with commercial space in great de- 
mand, The Quartermaster General was un- 
able to move promptly the large amount of 
construction materials and the personnel 
which American contractors were required 
to send to the new Atlantic and Caribbean 
bases. This led the Chief of Engineers to 
propose, in the spring of 1941, that an ex- 
ception to the regulation be made tempo- 
rarily so as to permit his office to arrange for 
such movements. 1 * This suggestion was op- 
posed by G— 4 on the ground that, with the 
prevailing scarcity of ships, the exercise of 
centralized control by The Quartermaster 
General was more than ever essential. As 
an alternative, the Chief of Engineers and 
the other supply services were directed to 
appoint special liaison officers from their 
traffic organizations to maintain contact 
with The Quartermaster General's newly 
established Traffic Control Branch, place 
before it as far in advance as possible the 
shipping requirements of their respective 
services, follow through on the handling of 
specific shipments, and investigate any com- 
plaints regarding delays to shipments, 
whether by rail or by water, which might 
be received from their field offices. 10 In an 
effort to increase his capacity for moving 
cargo to the Caribbean bases, The Quarter- 
master General explored the, possibility of 
establishing barge services from New Or- 

17 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 24 Mar 41, 
G-4/297 17-56; 1st Ind, QMG to TIG, 30 Apr 41, 
OCT 56 1 Army Transports. 

,s Memo, CofEngrs for ACofS WPD, 27 Mar 
41; Memo, ACofS G-4 for ACofS WPD, 3 Apr 
41, G-4/32834; Memo, ACofS WPD for TAG, 7 
Apr 41. All in WPD 4351-51 to 91. 

19 Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 15 Apr 41, AG 
210.69(4-9-41) Traf Contl; Memo, TAG for 
QMG etc., 1 7 Apr 41, OCT 020. 



leans to certain Caribbean ports. Although 
the idea met with some favor it was not 
pursued to a conclusion because ocean- 
going barges and tugs were exceedingly 
scarce at that time. 20 

During 1941 the Army took other steps 
to insure that the utilization of its transports 
was in keeping with the generally stringent 
shipping situation. In March, in response 
to approaches from the Reconstruction Fi- 
nance Corporation and the Maritime Com- 
mission, the War Department agreed to lift 
government rubber from the Far East on 
homeward transports, with the understand- 
ing that any loss of transport time would be 
compensated by the assignment of addi- 
tional vessels, and a few months later this 
arrangement was extended to strategic gov- 
ernment cargoes from the west coast of 
South America. 21 Subsequently the Judge 
Advocate General was requested to deter- 
mine whether under emergency conditions 
it would be legal for Army transports to 
carry commercial passengers and cargoes 
when commercial space was not available, 
and an affirmative opinion was rendered. 22 
In April Army Transport Service sailings 
between New York and San Francisco were 
ordered discontinued, the traffic between 
those ports to move by rail. 23 In June, be- 

20 Memo for record, by Col D. C. Cordiner, 9 
Apr 41, sub: Trans of Cargo to Atlantic Bases, 
OCT HB OQMG Traf Contl Br. 

21 Ltr, SW to Chm Mar Com, 12 Mar 41, 
G-4/ 297 17-54; DF, ACofS G-4 for TAG and 
OMG, 28 Jun 41, sub: ATS to South America, 
G-4/ 297 17-26. 

22 Memo, ACofS G-4 for JAG, 7 Oct 41, sub: 
Authority for Trans Coml Passengers and Cargo ; 
Memo, JAG for ACofS G-4, 17 Oct 41. Both in 
G-4/ 297 17-90. 

23 OQMG Cir Ltr 78, 28 Apr 41, sub: Discon- 
tinuance of Intercoastal Trans Sv; Memo, ACofS 
G-4 for CofS USA, 28 Mar 41 ; 1st Ind, TAG for 
QMG, 3 Apr 41, sub: NY-SF and SF-NY Trans 
Sv. Last two in AG 575.1. 

cause of the increasing number of military 
and civilian personnel stationed overseas 
and the scarcity of both passenger and cargo 
space, the transportation of dependents, 
household goods, and private automobiles 
to oversea stations by Army transports was 
discontinued. 24 In order to shorten the sea 
voyages to the Caribbean bases, the Pan- 
ama Canal, and Alaska, and also to lighten 
the loads on the primary ports at New York 
and San Francisco, increasing use was made 
of the ports of Charleston, New Orleans, 
and Seattle. 

Following up the action which he had 
taken earlier in the year, the President in 
July 1941 requested that the Army, the 
Navy, and the Maritime Commission make 
a joint investigation to determine whether 
the vessels operated by the military services 
were being utilized with maximum efficien- 
cy. The War Department pledged its full 
co-operation in such an investigation and 
submitted a list of its transports showing 
their current employment. 25 This report ap- 
parently satisfied the President and the 
Maritime Commission. 

One of the difficult problems of this 
period was to obtain a reasonably accurate 
estimate of the tonnage of cargoes to be 
moved overseas, as a basis for determining 
the amount of shipping which the Army 
Transport Service would need. The procur- 
ing services of the War Department were 
handicapped in supplying such figures, not 
only by the extreme elasticity of the over- 
sea requirements but also by uncertainty as 
to the rate at which industry would be able 

24 Memo, TAG for CG's all Armies, etc., 7 Jun 
41, sub: Trans of Dependents and Household 
Goods, AG 541.1 (5-26-41). 

2r> Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 9 Jul 41, 
sub: Utilization of Army Vessels: Memo, DCofS 
USA for SW, 10 Jul 41 ; Ltrs, SW to the Presi- 
dent, 10 Jul 41 and 12 Jul 41. All in G-4/297 17-26. 



to deliver the materiel. An estimate pre- 
pared early in 1941 in The Quartermaster 
General's Transportation Division indicated 
that, as compared with 419,769 measure- 
ment tons shipped during the fiscal year 
1940, the tonnage for the fiscal year 1941 
would be about twice that amount, while 
for the fiscal year 1942 it was expected to 
increase to over 2,100,000 measurement 
tons,-" In July 1941 the Transportation 
Branch of G-4 gave the Maritime Commis- 
sion an estimate of 2,317,000 long tons 
(equivalent to about 4,600,000 measure- 
ment tons) to be moved overseas during the 
fiscal year 1942, of which about 40 percent 
could be moved by the Army transports 
then in service, while the remainder would 
have to be shipped on commercial vessels. 27 
A statement prepared by the Traffic Control 
Branch of the Transportation Division as of 
30 September 1941, based on the best cal- 
culations that could be made by the several 
supply services, placed the Army's total out- 
bound movement of oversea cargo for the 
fiscal year 1942 at slightly over 6,000,000 
measurement tons. Actual Army ship- 
ments during that year were slightly under 
6,000,000 measurement tons. The above 
figures do not include shipments by War 
Department contractors on commercial 
bills of lading, which in the 30 September 
1941 statement were estimated at approxi- 

Measurement Tons of Cargo— Outbound .... 
Passengers Transported 

"" Memo within Trans Div, Liebler for Cordiner, 
12 Feb 41, OCT HB OQMG Water Trans Br. 

"' Ltr, C of Trans Br G-4 for Chm Mar Com, 
25 Jul 41, OCT HB Gross Day File. 

2ri Memo within Trans Div OQMG, Wardlow 
for Dillon, 30 Sep 41, and accompanying statisti- 
cal tabulation, OCT HB OQMG Traf Contl Br. 

mately 2,600,000 measurement tons for the 
fiscal year 1942. 28 

In reviewing the situation for the Chief 
of Staff in September 1941, the Assistant 
Chief of Staff, G— 4, expressed no concern 
over the Army's shipping position. He 
stated that the "Army's main fleet" (pre- 
sumably the Army Transport Service) con- 
sisted of 31 vessels — 16 troop transports 
and 15 freighters; that in addition to the 
traffic handled by these Army vessels, a 
large amount of commercial space had been 
used, and that the Maritime Commission 
had met all requests for such space 
promptly. 23 His statement indicated that the 
Army Transport Service then had a capac- 
ity of 18,000 troops and 177,000 measure- 
ment tons of cargo; that the Naval Trans- 
portation Service had a capacity of 35,000 
troops and 273,000 tons of cargo; that in 
an all-out effort the Maritime Commission 
could make available ships with capacity 
for 96,400 troops and 1,852,000 tons of 
cargo. It added, with a tinge of optimism 
which was scarcely warranted, that the 
shipping situation was improving as the 
Maritime Commission's construction pro- 
gram produced more bottoms. It gave the 
following summary to show the growth of 
the Army's transportation activities at 
United States ports since the outbreak of 
hostilities in Europe: 

FY 1939 FY 1940 FY 1941 

250,000 420,000 1,060,000 

54,300 88,800 125,500 

:s Footnote cont. from col. 1. 

Actual shipments for July-November 1941 based 
on Water Trans Br Data Book II, OCT HB OQMG 
Water Trans Br; Dec 41— Jun 42 figures from 
Transportation, Comparative Data, World War I 
—World War II, Jul 43, OCT HB MPR. 

2S Memo, 10 Sep 41, sub: Status of Water Trans, 



The effort to reinforce the Philippines 
during the fall of 1941 was beset with nu- 
merous problems which brought into sharp 
focus the Army's unreadiness to provide 
and move overseas large emergency ship- 
ments of troops and materiel. This effort 
involved the equipment of the Philippine 
Army and the equipment and reinforce- 
ment of the United States garrison. 30 A 
tentative schedule of freight movements, 
starting 1 November, was submitted to the 
Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces 
in the Far East ( USAFFE ) , with an in- 
quiry as to whether Manila would be able 
to accommodate the shipments. The reply 
was in the affirmative, but on condition that 
not more than six ships would be in port at 
any time. 31 At the end of October, approved 
Philippine supply requirements amounted 
to 790,000 measurement tons, of which it 
was estimated that 720,000 tons could be 
lifted by 1 March 1942, mostly in space 
furnished by the Maritime Commission, if 
the supplies could be made available for the 
scheduled sailings. Although at that time 
materiel totaling 500,000 measurement tons 
had been released or had been recom- 
mended for release by the supply services, 
up to 8 December only 87,045 long tons, or 
297,481 measurement tons, actually had 
been offered for shipment, and the major 
portion of that tonnage was motor vehicles. 

30 Memo, ACofS WPD for ACofS G-4, 29 Jul 
41, sub: Emerg Mbl Phil Army, and Incls, WPD 
3251-52; Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 21 Aug 41, 
sub: Equip for Phil Dept. Both in G-4/27573-18, 
Sec. I. 

31 Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 22 Oct 41, sub: 
Schedule of Shipments to Phil; Rad 674, USAFFE 
to TAG, 25 Oct 41, AG 575.1 ( 10-25-41 ) MC ; 
Memo, ACofS G-4 for ACofS WPD, 30 Oct 41; 
Memo, QMG for CofEngrs, 23 Oct 41, sub: Ship- 
ments to Phil Dept; Memo, ACofS WPD for 
ACofS G-4, 1 Nov 41, WPD 4560-1 ; Summary by 
Traf Contl Br Trans Div OQMG, 9 Dec 41. All in 
G-4/27573-18, Sec II. 

In order to expedite the movement of about 
20,000 troops to the Philippines, six com- 
mercial passenger liners were chartered to 
supplement the seven Army transports 
which could be made available for the 
purpose, and there was delay in arranging 
waiver of the inspection regulations so that 
the maximum number of troops could be 
carried on the chartered ships. 32 

When word of the Japanese attack was 
received six troopships and nine cargo ships 
were at sea bound for Manila. None 
reached its destination. Acting under radio 
instructions four of the troopships which 
had sailed recently from San Francisco re- 
turned to that port; the remainder headed 
for other friendly ports, and all but one 
cargo ship arrived safely. 

It was recognized that this urgent move- 
ment of troops and supplies to the Philip- 
pines would place a heavy strain on the 
San Francisco Port of Embarkation. To 
relieve the situation so far as troops were 
concerned, the 30th Infantry was ordered 
to vacate the Presidio in order to make that 
facility available for staging purposes, and 
the sailings of two Coast Artillery units to 
Hawaii were deferred. 33 The principal 
problem, however, was with the transship- 
ment of cargo. A representative of the 
Transportation Branch, G— 4, was sent to 
San Francisco to observe the operation. He 
reported that under the circumstances a 
splendid job was being done, but he also 
pointed out that to save confusion and loss 
of time better marking of shipments by the 

32 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 13 Nov 41, 
sub: Phil Movement; G-4/27573-18, Sec II; 
Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 28 Nov 41, sub: 
Waiver of Safety Requirements, G-4/ 297 1 7-96 ; 
Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 9 Dec 41, 
G-4/29717-96; Biennial Rpt, CofS USA, 1943, 
pp. 4,5. 

33 Ltr, G-4 (Ross) to CG SFPE, 13 Nov 
41, G-4/27573-18, Sec II. 



supply services and prompter forwarding of 
the shipping papers to the port were desir- 
able. 34 

A representative of The Inspector Gen- 
eral also observed the operation from 29 
November to 7 December. He found that 
the port's task of loading ships with several 
troop units and their organic supplies and 
equipment, some of which came from home 
stations and some from other stations and 
depots, was complicated by four difficulties: 
( 1 ) inability to determine whether short- 
ages of equipment were the result of limited 
supply or other causes, (2) insufficient 
space at the port for segregating and verify- 
ing the equipment of the several units, (3) 
insufficient personnel in the advance detach- 
ments sent to the port by the units, and 
(4) lack of experienced commissioned per- 
sonnel on the staff of the port commander. ' 5 

Preparations for Amphibious Operations 

The Army's difficulties in obtaining suf- 
ficient shipping to service its oversea bases 
properly were intensified bv the necessitv of 
providing vessels for use in joint Army-Navy 
exercises and in preparing for joint op- 
erations against enemy opposition. The 
arrangements for such exercises and opera- 
tions brought to light many points of physi- 
cal unpreparedness, a lack of understanding 
between the Army and the Navy regarding 
responsibility for the provision of transports 
and landing boats, and the absence of ade- 
quate doctrine and procedures. 

For the joint exercises which were held 
on the Pacific coast in January 1940, the 
San Francisco Port of Embarkation was 

34 Personal Ltr, Lt Col F. S. Ross to Col C. P. 
Gross, 3 Dec 41, G-4/27573-18, Sec II. 

3 '" Memo, Lt Col John W, Mott for TIG, 13 
Dec 41, G-4/27573-18, Sec II. 

responsible for assembling the Army trans- 
ports which were to be used, installing spe- 
cial equipment on them, loading ship stores 
and supplies for the troops, and handling 
the embarkation of troops at two ports on 
Puget Sound. In his report covering the 
operation, the port commander stated that 
the War Department had sent him no in- 
structions until he had asked for them, and 
that the Fourth Army, from which the troop 
units had been drawn, had provided no 
basic loading plan by which he could be 
guided."' Among the conditions requiring 
correction, as listed by the War Plans Divi- 
sion after an analysis of all reports sub- 
mitted after these exercises, were the trans- 
port masters' unfamiliarity with convoy 
procedure, lack of up-to-date drawings of 
the transports, lack of proper facilities on 
the transports for radio and visual signaling, 
unsuitability of the transports for "combat 
loading," insufficiency and unsuitability of 
the boats available for landing operations, 
and lack of adequate training in loading 
and unloading personnel and equipment." 

The reports on these joint exercises and 
subsequent discussion brought out other 
points of unpreparedness. There was a dif- 
ference of opinion as to who should con- 
trol the combat loading of transports, the 
port commander or the commander of the 
landing force. The pertinent regulation gave 
the commander of troops the final decision, 
and The Quartermaster General considered 
this the proper arrangement since the prob- 

3li Rpt to CG Fourth Army, 27 Jan 40, 
G-4/30557-1 1 : Rpts of other observers at these 
exercises are in AG 354.2 1 (9-29-39) , Sec 3. 

"Memo, WPD for CofS USA, 11 Jun 40, sub: 
Joint Army-Navy Exercises (WPD 4232-4), AG 
354.21(9-29-39), Sec 3. Combat loading involved 
stowing organizational equipment and supplies 
in the ships so that they might be unloaded quickly 
and in the order needed. 



lem was essentially a tactical one. 38 The 
suggestion was offered that a stevedore bat- 
talion should be activated to facilitate op- 
erations at ports of embarkation and de- 
barkation when such exercises were being 
conducted, but G— 3 considered this imprac- 
ticable since it would necessitate the in- 
activation of other units and the matter was 
not pursued further. 39 The Army ascertained 
that the Navy was placing only limited or- 
ders for new landing boats, and conse- 
quently ordered such equipment for use 
with its own transports. The Army also in- 
stalled heavier booms on those transports 
which were earmarked for service in joint 

The discussions between the Army and 
Navy regarding a further program of joint 
exercises disclosed disagreement on many 
points, including the extent of such exer- 
cises and the sources of the marine equip- 
ment to be used. The Army desired to have 
one division on the Atlantic coast and one 
on the Pacific coast thoroughly trained in 
amphibious operations and regretted the 
Navy's inability to accept this plan because 
of other commitments. 11 

The exercises held off Culebra Island, 
Puerto Rico, 27 January— 13 February 

s *Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 21 Jun 40, sub: 
Rpt on Army Participation, etc., G-4/ 30557-1 1 ; 
1st Ind, QMG for TAG, 23 Jul 40. Both in AG 
354.21 (9-29-39), Sec 3. AR 30-1190, par. 3b, 
23 Jul 32. 

Memo, ACofS G-3 for ACofS G-4 and WPD, 
6 Apr 40, G-4/30557-11. 

1,1 Memo, ACofS WPD for ACofS G-4, 29 Jun 
40; Memo, OQMG (Kells) for G-4 (Ross), 26 
Sep 40. Both in G-4/29367-81. 

41 Memo, ACofS WPD for CofS USA, 27 Feb 40, 
WPD 4116.1; Informal Memo for Gen Marshall, 
initialed OW, 19 Mar 40, with notes for discussion 
with Admiral Stark; Memo, CofS USA for CNO, 
15 May 40, sub: Army-Navy Exercises, FY 1941 ; 
Memo, ACofS WPD for ACofS G-3, 11 Jun 40, 
sub: Army-Navy Minor Joint Exercises, FY 1942, 
WPD 4232.3. All in AG 354.21 (12-7-39), Sec 1. 

1941, again showed that the Army trans- 
ports which were used were deficient in 
equipment and that the arrangements for 
landing troops and impedimenta were in- 
adequate. 42 A proposal which grew out of 
these exercises, that amphibious vehicles be 
used in effecting assault landings, elicited 
from G— 4 the comment that such vehicles 
were not yet available but that study was 
under way for the development of this type 
of equipment. Regarding the need for modi- 
fications in existing transports to facilitate 
assault landings, and the advisability of ob- 
taining new vessels especially designed for 
that purpose, G— 4 favored recommending 
to the Joint Board a revision of paragraph 
18 of "Joint Action of the Army and the 
Navy," to make the Navy alone respon- 
sible for providing suitable transport for 
joint exercises, since it had that responsi- 
bility in operations where real opposition was 
anticipated. There had been no agreement 
on the latter point up to the time of our 
entry into the war. 

The fact that the Navy was responsible 
for providing transports for joint operations 
against enemy resistance did not mean that 
the Army Transport Service was unaffected 
by the preparations for such operations. 
Early in 1941, in order to avoid the neces- 
sity for improvising emergency expeditionary 
forces after the demand had arisen, certain 
units were selected for organization into 
three task forces and planning was begun 
to place them in a state of readiness for 
oversea service. 43 The Navy, after estimat- 

4 - See rpt of observer, Lt Col D. S. Rumbough 
to TAG, 21 Feb 41, sub: Army-Navy Joint Ex- 
ercises (Fleet Landing Exercise 7) ; Memos, ACofS 
G-4 for ACofS G-3, 7 Apr 41 and 22 "Jul 41. All 
in G-4/30557-11. 

15 Merao, TAG for CG First Army, 10 Feb 41, 
sub: Org of Emerg Exped Forces, AG 381 
(11-12-40) Sec 2. 



ing with Army assistance the shipping re- 
quired for moving these forces, found that 
it would not be able to obtain all of the 
needed vessels from the Maritime Commis- 
sion and proposed that it take over three of 
the Army's troopships. The final result of 
this proposal was that in late May the Army- 
was directed by the President to arrange for 
the transfer of six of its troop carriers to the 
Navy, including the largest of its fleet, the 
Manhattan and the Washington.^ In sub- 
stitution for these ships, the President di- 
rected the chairman of the Maritime Com- 
mission to turn over to the Army seven 
smaller passenger vessels. 43 In the same letter 
he directed the Maritime Commission to 
turn over to the Navy five passenger ships 
and fourteen cargo ships. Among the pas- 
senger ships thus placed under Navy con- 
trol was the America, the largest vessel un- 
der the American flag. 

Three of the ships transferred from the 
Army to the Navy were converted into 
combat loaders. In July 1941 the Navy pro- 
posed that it also be permitted to convert 
ten of the Army's remaining transports to 
combat loaders according to Navy stand- 
ards, so that they would be ready if and 
when needed. 40 The Quartermaster Gen- 
eral pointed out that this would impair the 
vessels' effectiveness on the regular routes 
where they were sorely needed, and G— 4 
registered a strong protest on the ground 
that the proposal involved taking the 
Army's best passenger ships out of service 

44 Memos, SW for SN, 26 May 41 and 29 May 
41, G-4/29717-71 ; see also Memo, GofS USA 
for CNO, 25 May 41, WPD 2789. 

45 Ltr, 26 May 41 , G-4/297 1 7-26. 

40 Memo, BuShips USN for WD Liaison Officer 
(Crane), 26 Jul 41, G-4/29717-51 ; Memo, ACNO 
for JB, 5 Aug 41, JB 320 (Ser 715). Among the 
ten were two vessels which were still being con- 
structed by the Maritime Commission for the 

for a period and reducing their capacities 
by conversion in order to provide against 
the "improbable contingency" that they 
might be required for special operations." 
The Chief of Staff nevertheless approved a 
recommendation of the Joint Planning 
Committee that the ten Army transports be 
converted, with the understanding that the 
conversion schedule would be so arranged 
that Navy transports would be available to 
the Army during the conversion period, if 

In support of its July proposal to convert 
ten additional Army transports the Navy 
had stated that, from its own fleet and such 
vessels as could be obtained from the Mari- 
time Commission, it had been able to pro- 
vide only seventeen combat loaders, where- 
as twenty-seven were needed in order to 
handle two divisions and have three vessels 
in reserve. In October the Navy raised its 
requirements to thirty-six vessels, and the 
Joint Board directed the Joint Planning 
Committee to make a study of the situa- 
tion. 4 " Our entry into the war and the emer- 
gency actions which followed that event re- 
moved the necessity for this study. 

While losing its struggle to prevent a large 
number of Army troopships from being con- 
verted to combat loaders (in which status 
they were likely to be withdrawn from troop 
service at any time for combat operations), 
G— 4 was overruled also in its opposition to 
a Navy proposal that the large Navy troop- 
ships West Point (ex-America) , Wakefield 
(ex-Manhattan) , and Mount Vernon (ex- 

47 2d Ind, QMG for ACofS G-4, 7 Aug 41, 
G-4/29717-51; Memo, ACofS for ACofS 

WPD, 30 Aug 41, sub: Conv Army Transports 
for Combat Loading, G-4/2971 7-81 ; Memo, JPC 
for JB, 17 Sep 41, JB 320 (Ser 715) ; Memo, ACofS 
WPD for ACofS G-4, 18 Sep 41, G-4/2971 7-81. 

18 JB Mtg, 22 Oct 41; Memo for JPC, 24 Oct 
41, JB 320 (Ser 733); JB Mtg, 9 Feb 42 (Ser 733). 



Washington) , be converted into airplane 
carriers, for in September 1941 the Secre- 
tary of War approved a Joint Board report 
which favored such action. 49 The conversion 
work on these vessels did not get under way 
promptly, however, and was destined not to 
be accomplished. After our entry into the 
war the Army requested that those vessels 
continue as regular troopships, in view of 
the extreme need for greater troop capacity, 
and especially the need for fast transports. 
Plans then were adopted for providing air- 
plane carriers, as well as additional combat 
loaders, by converting vessels of other 
types. 50 

The position of the War Plans Division 
of the General Staff in regard to these mat- 
ters is of interest. Whereas G— 4 and The 
Quartermaster General were concerned pri- 
marily with maintaining an Army Trans- 
port Service adequate to handle the grow- 
ing traffic to the oversea bases, and the Navy 
was concerned primarily with the develop- 
ment of an adequate fleet of combat loaders 
for the use of expeditionary forces, WPD 
was concerned with both aspects of the situ- 
ation. G— 4 observed that WPD "apparently 
favored" the Navy's plan for converting ten 
Army transports and presented its argu- 
ments against the proposal, but without suc- 
cess. 51 The Deputy Chief of Staff took cog- 
nizance of this difference between the two 
staff divisions and supported the G— 4 posi- 
tion, expressing the view that the Navy 
should obtain from the Maritime Commis- 
sion rather than from the Army the vessels 

49 Memo, ACofS G-4 for DCofS USA, 24 Sep 
41; Memo, JPC for JB, 8 Oct 41, JB 320 (Ser 
723) ; Ltr, Secy WDGS to Secy JB, 24 Oct 41. All 
In G-4/ 297 17-26. 

50 Memos, CofS USA to CNO, 22 and 30 Dec 
41, G-4/ 297 17-81. 

51 Memo, ACofS G-4 for ACofS WPD, 30 Aug 
41, G-4/29717-81 ; Memo, ACofS WPD for ACofS 
G-4, 18 Sep 41. Both in WPD 2789. 

necessary to the performance of "one of 
the normal Naval tasks" under the agree- 
ment, "Joint Action of the Army and the 
Navy." 52 The War Plans Division also had 
recommended withdrawal of the Army's 
objection to the conversion of the West 
Point, Mount Vernon, and Wakefield to 
airplane carriers." Its reasoning appears to 
have been that the Army could obtain other 
vessels for its troop service. That was not 
a ready solution, however, since it was the 
difficulty of obtaining additional vessels that 
made the problem an acute one for both 
the Army and the Navy. 

In August 1941 a joint exercise was con- 
ducted in the New River area of North 
Carolina with a view to preparing the 
Atlantic Amphibious Force for action on 
short notice. Looking backward at that 
undertaking and forward to other planned 
exercises, the Commander in Chief, U.S. 
Atlantic Fleet, vigorously asserted that he 
considered the force in no condition for 
actual operations. He stated that no 
effective organization had been set up, that 
all units lacked adequate equipment, and 
that the available transports had neither 
sufficient capacity nor suitable facilities. 54 
Referring to this communication insofar as 
it pertained to the Army elements of the 
force, the War Plans Division asserted that 
those elements had complete equipment as 
authorized in tables of basic allowances, 
and expressed the view that any special 
equipment required for landing operations 

M Memo, DCofS for CofS USA, 2 Dec 41, sub: 
Conv of Army Transports for Combat Unit Load- 
ing, WPD 2789. 

a3 Memo, ACofS WPD for ACofS G-4, 2 Oct 41, 
WPD 2789; see also Memo, ACofS WPD for ACofS 
G-4, 5 Oct 41, WPD 4131. 

54 Memo for CNO, 2 Oct 41, sub: Atlantic 
Amphibious Force — State of Readiness, WPD 4232 
46—75; see also unsigned statement on New River 
exercises, G— 4/33088. 



should be prescribed by the task force com- 
mander — in other words, by the Navy.™ 
Late in November WPD observed that 
"due to the unavailability of shipping the 
past several months, only one division has 
been partially trained [for landing opera- 
tions] in the entire Army/' and suggested 
that GHQ collaborate with the Navy in 
preparing "a detailed plan" for the train- 
ing of a number of divisions. 

The correspondence and reports concern- 
ing joint exercises during 1940—41 and the 
negotiations in regard to vessels required for 
planned expeditionary forces indicate how 
inadequate were the preparations for carry- 
ing on amphibious operations up to the 
time of our entry into the war, and empha- 
size the magnitude of the task which lay 
ahead of the armed services in preparing 
themselves for the successful execution of 
the many joint actions that would be re- 
quired both in Europe and in the Pacific. 

The Submarine Threat 

Less than a year after Hitler came to 
power, Germany opened a submarine 
college at Kiel and began training crews 
under the tutelage of officers experienced in 
U-boat warfare. German technicians also 
began designing larger and more powerful 
undersea craft. The L T -boat had come close 
to imposing a fatal stranglehold on the 
Allied effort in World War I, and the renas- 
cent German military machine recognized 
its importance in the forthcoming struggle 
for world power. Great Britain still was 
dependent on shipping for a large portion 

Memo, ACofS WPD for CofS USA, 3 Oct 41, 
WPD 4232 46^75; Memo, ACofS WPD for CofS 
of Field Forres GHQ, 28 Nov 41, WPD 2 789. As 
late as April 1942 the Army registered with JCS 
concern over lack of progress in amphibious train- 
ing. See JCS 10th Mtg, 13 Apr 42, An. IV. 

of her food and raw materials, as well as 
for the deployment and supply of her forces. 
The Soviet Union still was underdeveloped 
industrially, and her potential militarv 
strength could be realized only with the aid 
of tools and equipment supplied by oversea 
allies. The United States, if she again should 
be drawn into the conflict, would have to 
rely on ocean transport to make her might 
felt in Europe. The submarine therefore 
was Germany's front-line weapon against 
her greatest potential foes. In September 
1939 she had 60 such vessels in commission, 
30 of which were of 500 tons or larger and 
capable of operation in the Atlantic.'"' 

During the 28 months from September 
1939 through December 1941 about 15,- 
000,000 deadweight tons of merchant 
shipping were lost by Allied and neutral 
nations from all causes, of which an esti- 
mated 14,000,000 deadweight tons were 
ocean-going."' 7 The losses of ocean-going 
shipping were more than two and one-half 
times the construction during the same 
period by the United States and the British 
Empire, which were virtually the only 
sources of new shipping for the Allies.' 1 * 

•'" Winston S. Churchill, The Gathering Storrn 
(Cambridge, 1948), pp. 423-24. Germany expected 
to have 99 U-boats in service by early 1940. 

•~' 7 Based on British Admiralty Rpt, BR 1337, 
British and Foreign Merchant Vessels Lost or 
Damaged by Enemy Action During Second World 
War, 1 October 1943, statistical summaries 1 and 
10. This report gives only gross tonnages, but it 
is used extensivelv in discussing ship losses because 
of its comprehensiveness, and gross tons are con- 
verted to deadweight tons at the generally ac- 
cepted ratio of 1 to 1.5. Deadweight tonnages for 
ship losses, although they must be regarded as 
rough estimates when based on this report, are 
given to permit of ready comparison with dead- 
weight tonnages for ship construction which are 
presented in the next section. 

•"BR 1337, summary 14, shows 3,535,000 GT 
of vessels 1,600 GT or over constructed, which at 
a ratio of 1 to 1.5 equals about 5,300,000 DWT. 



After the entry of the United States into the 
war the sinkings increased and during the 
year 1942 the losses of ocean-going vessels 
totaled slightly more than 12,000,000 dead- 
weight tons, or an average of 1,000,000 
tons per month. The 1 942 losses exceeded 
additions by new construction by almost 
1,500,000 deadweight tons, and amounted 
to more than one-fourth of the total 
shipping available to the Allies at the begin- 
ning of that year. About 75 percent of all 
merchant shipping losses during 1942 were 
due to submarine activity. 

To the Allies, confronted as they were 
with the necessity not merely of holding 
their own but of striking heavier and 
heavier blows against the enemy, these 
shipping losses had serious implications. A 
few illustrations will suffice. A British study 
presented to the Combined Chiefs of Staff 
in February 1942 indicated that British 
imports, excluding oil, had amounted to 
52,000,000 tons in 1938, had been only 
30,500,000 tons in 1941, and were expected 
to total only 5,250,000 tons during the first 
quarter of 1942."" The heavy losses sus- 
tained by convoys carrying lend-lease sup- 
plies to northern ports of the Soviet Union, 
because of advantages enjoyed by German 
submarines, surface raiders, and aircraft 
based on Norway, was a potent factor in 
the decision to divert a large part of that 
traffic to the longer route around the Cape 
of Good Hope to the Persian Gulf and to 

j! ' Losses for 1942, stated in DWT, are from 
Table I, Standard Statement of Gains and Losses, 
issued by Combined Shipping Adjustment Board, 
17 Sep 45, covering vessels of 1,600 GT and over; 
CCS 203, 24 Apr 43, p. 8, gives shipping available 
to Allies on 1 Jan 42 as 44,390,000 DWT. For 
causes of losses see U.S. Fleet Anti-Submarine Bul- 
letin, Mar 45, p. 1 7, and BR 1 337, summary 4. 

""CCS 39, 14 Feb 42; see William K. Hancock 
and M. M. Govving, British War Economy (London, 
1949), p. 357. 

develop a huge Anglo-American supply op- 
eration in Iran, embracing ports, railways, 
and truck services.' 1 Because of sinkings in 
May and early June 1942, the War 
Shipping Administration found it necessary 
to delete 1 7 vessels from a list of 74 which 
it had nominated for June and July de- 
partures in the Bolero movement." 2 The 
large number of vessels sunk in the Gulf of 
Mexico and the Caribbean forced the Army 
for a period to route the bulk of its sup- 
plies for the Panama Canal via Los Angeles, 
rather than New Orleans, thus increasing 
both rail and water hauls." 1 

During 1942, although the output of 
American shipyards was increasing rapidly 
and was expected to continue to increase, 
there was no way of knowing what new 
submarine onslaughts Allied shipping might 
have to withstand, and British and Ameri- 
can officials showed no disposition to sound 
an optimistic note on the shipping issue. 
Actually, that year proved to be the most 
disastrous from the standpoint of ship 
losses. The cumulative deficit in the in- 
ventory of x\llied and neutral merchant 
shipping of all types, compared with 
September 1939, was greatest during the 
summer months of 1942, when it amounted 
to almost 10,000,000 gross tons, or an esti- 

(>1 Concerning route to northern Soviet ports see 
Samuel Eliot Morison, The Battle oj the Atlantic, 
Ch. VII. Concerning Persian Gulf operations see 
T. II. Vail Motter, The Persian Corridor and Aid 
WAR II (Washington, 1951), Chs. X, XVI, XVII, 
XVIII. For number of sailings on respective routes 
see Office of Foreign Liquidation, Dept State, Re- 
port on War Aid Furnished by the United States to 
the U.S.S.R., 28 Nov 45, p. 14. 

'■- CMTC 23d Mtg, 18 Jun 42, Item 4. 

,:3 Memo, CofT for CG's NOPE and SFPE, 28 
Jun 42, sub: Los Angeles as Temporary Supply 
Port for Panama, AG 563.5 Panama. 

CONVOY FORMING OFF A U.S. ATLANTIC PORT (top). Navy aircraft at- 
tacking a submarine (bottom). Antisubmarine measures were increasingly effective 

as the war progressed. 



mated 15,000,000 deadweight tons. 04 
Thereafter, ship construction exceeded 
losses and the deficit steadily diminished. It 
was entirely wiped out in October 1943. 

Addressing the Congress of the United 
States in May 1943, Prime Minister 
Churchill said: "While I rate the U-boat 
danger still the greatest we have to face, I 
have a good and sober confidence that it 
will not only be met and contained but 
overcome." 05 The Commander in Chief, 
U.S. Fleet, Admiral Ernest J. King, re- 
ported: "By the spring of 1943, the war 
against German submarines in the Atlantic 
had turned in our favor and we were fully 
on the offensive in that area." fi6 The 
justification for this optimism was soon 
apparent. The losses of Allied and neutral 
ocean-going shipping from all causes totaled 
about 5,300,000 deadweight tons in 1943, 
or less than half the losses of 1942, and 
only about 2,100,000 deadweight tons were 
lost in 1944. 67 

During the entire war period, that is from 
September 1939 through August 1945, the 
losses of Allied and neutral merchant ship- 
ping of all types totaled about 36,000,000 
deadweight tons (of which about 34,000,000 

04 See chart, ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Dec 43, p. 15. 
Cumulative deficit shows how far construction fell 
short of replacing losses. 

01 "Text of Churchill's Address before Congress," 
The Washington Post, May 20, 1943; cf. Winston 
S. Churchill, Their Finest Hour (Cambridge, 
1949), p. 598. 

00 Admiral Ernest J. King, Rpt to SN, up to 1 
Mar 44, Our Navy at War, U.S. News edition, p. 

07 Table I, Standard Statement of Gains and 
Losses, 1 7 Sep 45, covering merchant vessels of 
1,600 GT or more. BR 1337, summary 10, indi- 
cates that including smaller vessels losses were 
about 5,600,000 DWTin 1943 and 2,260,000 DWT 
in 1944. 

deadweight tons were ocean-going types). 
Of the total losses, British vessels accounted 
for almost 19,000,000 tons, United States 
vessels for about 6,000,000 tons, and the 
vessels of other Allied and neutral nations 
for more than 1 1,000,000 tons. Almost 32,- 
000,000 deadweight tons were lost because 
of enemy action, including almost 22,000,- 
000 deadweight tons lost as the- result of 
submarine action ; the remaining losses were 
due to the usual hazards of the sea. Of the 
vessels lost on account of enemy action, 
about 18,100,000 tons were lost in the 
North Atlantic, 2,000,000 tons in the South 
Atlantic, 2,500,000 tons in the Mediter- 
ranean, about 2,200,000 tons in the Indian 
Ocean, 5,200,000 tons in United Kingdom 
coastal waters, the North Sea, and the 
Baltic, and 1,700,000 tons in the Pacinc.' 8 

While in discussing the extent of the 
losses at sea the tonnage of ships sunk is a 
convenient means of measurement, it is not 
to be forgotten that most sinkings involved 
also loss of life or loss of cargo, or both. 
The men and women who perished in 
marine disasters (merchant seamen, serv- 
ice personnel, and civilian passengers) were 
irreplaceable. Replacement of the cargoes, 
like replacement of the ships, required time, 
labor, and scarce materials, all of which 
were in short supply during the period of 
intensive war effort. The significance of 
each sinking, therefore, reached far beyond 
the loss of the services of a transportation 
facility, damaging as that may have been. 

Despite the perilous experience of 
1914-18, when the losses of Allied and 
neutral shipping had approached 19,000,- 
000 deadweight tons, the opening of World 
War II found the Allies unprepared to 
meet the submarine offensive which the 

Based on BR 1337, summaries 1, 4, 8, 10 



Germans had in store for them. 68 Partic- 
ularly after the United States and Japan 
had joined the hostilities, placing Pacific 
as well as Atlantic sea lanes in jeopardy, 
the number of escort vessels was wholly in- 
adequate and aircraft carriers were not 
available to accompany the many convoys 
which put to sea. Land-based air coverage 
also was extremely thin, so that for a period 
enemy U-boats reaped an easy harvest of 
vessels moving in our Atlantic and Gulf 
coastal waters. 70 There was no effective or- 
ganization to co-ordinate and control the 
utilization of existing means and methods 
among the Allies. 71 

Time was required for rectifying our lack 
of readiness to meet the U-boat challenge, 
and the provision of needed escort vessels of 
various types, escort aircraft carriers, and 
other antisubmarine equipment made heavy 
demands on construction facilities and ma- 
terials. Measures were devised, however, ac- 
cording to the principle laid down by the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff, "that the defeat 
of the U-boat must remain the first charge 

69 Salter, Allied Shipping Control, pp. 355-59, 
gives the war losses of Allied and neutral nations 
during 1914-18 as 12,591,000 GT, or roughly 18,- 
886,000 DWT. 

70 See remarks of Admiral H. R. Stark, CNO 
USN, Arcadia Proceedings, 24 TW 41 Ttpmi 5 
and 14; Admiral King's report cited In. 66] p. 49. 
Concerning U.S. unprepared ness for antisubmarine 
action by air and differences between Navy and 
AAF as to jurisdiction and strategy see The Army 
Air Forces in World War II (Chicago, 1948, 1949) 
Vol. I, Ch.l5,Vol. II, Ch. 12. Concerning Civil Air 
Patrol, see Morison, Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 

11 Rpt of Combined Stf Planners, sub: Measures 
for Combating the Submarine Menace, issued with 
CCS 203, 24 Apr 43, reviewed the Allied short- 
comings, which by then had been partially over- 
come, and made recommendations for further 

on the resources of the United Nations." 72 
The success which the Allies ultimately 
achieved in offsetting the submarine men- 
ace is attested not only by the reduction in 
losses of merchant vessels, as indicated 
above, but by the increased destruction of 
German U-boats. Whereas only 35 German 
submarines were destroyed in 1941 and 85 
in 1942, the casualties were 237 in 1943 
and 241 in 1944. 73 Throughout the war a 
total of 781 German, 130 Japanese, and 81 
Italian submarines were destroyed. Of the 
German losses about 725 were vessels of 500 
tons or over, hence capable of operation in 
the open ocean areas. 74 

The foregoing data on the areas in which 
Allied merchant vessels were lost and the 
nationality of the enemy submarines de- 
stroyed indicate how preponderantly the 
U-boat hazard which confronted the Allies 
was of German origin. 

While the Germans lost about 725 sub- 
marines of the ocean-going type during the 
war, they built about 1,040 and on V-E 
Day had about 350 in being, though not 
necessarily in operational status. The 
U-boat threat to the Allies' transatlantic 
lines of communication, therefore, never 
could be disregarded. This is evidenced by 
the fact that in February 1945, with the 
end of the heavy troop movement to Europe 
in sight, the British Admiralty thought it 
best that the large British passenger liners 
should be kept out of United Kingdom 

72 Admiral Ernest J. King, USN, in opening 
address at Atlantic Convoy Conference, Washing- 
ton, 1 Mar 43, p. 2 of minutes, OCT HB Topic 
Convoy and Routing. 

73 Admiral King's final rpt to SN, U.S. Navy at 
War, 1 Mar 45-1 Oct 45, U.S. News edition, p. 29. 

74 Rpt, OCNO USN (OPNAV-P33-100 New 
5—46), German, Japanese, and Italian Sub- 
marine Losses, World War II, May 46; Rpt 51, 
Operations Evaluation Group, OCNO USN, Apr 
46, Pt. I, p. 144. 



waters as much as possible 'because of the 
submarine danger. 75 The U.S. Navy reported 
that the month of April 1 945 had witnessed 
the commencement in the Atlantic of the 
"long awaited German U-boat offensive," 
which extended westward to the U.S. At- 
lantic seaboard. 

A postwar statement by Grossadmiral 
Karl Doenitz made it clear that the Allied 
anticipation of a renewed U-boat offensive 
had good foundation. The reversal suffered 
by German submarines in 1943 was due 
principally to improved Allied air coverage 
and radar detection, which were especially 
effective against the types of submarines 
which Germany then had in service — types 
of slow speed and limited underwater 
capability. By 1945, in addition to the 
Schnorckel which made more extensive 
underwater operation possible, the Germans 
were producing new types of U-boats with 
higher speed, longer range, and other tech- 
nical improvements, with which they ex- 
pected to again heavily harass Allied ship- 
ping. But they were not ready to launch this 
new campaign, Doenitz stated, when Ger- 
many was forced to capitulate. 76 

The Shipbuilding Achievement 

The curbing of the submarine was only 
one factor in overcoming the limitation 
which shipping placed upon our oversea 
military effort. The other essential factor 
was the construction of enough new ships 
to offset the losses incurred and to provide 
sufficient added capacity to make possible 
the heavy offensive operations which were 

75 Msg 69637 Q(M)8, War Office to British 
Army Staff Washington, 18 Feb 45, OCT HB 
Mvmts Div British Files; U.S. Fleet Anti-Submarine 
Bulletin, May 45, p. 9. 

70 Doenitz, Conduct of the War At Sea, printed 
by Div of Kav Int, USN, 15 Jan 46, pp. 18, 31. 

necessary to accomplish the defeat of Ger- 
many and Japan. The shipbuilding achieve- 
ment by which this goal was attained stands 
out as one of the more spectacular produc- 
tion feats of the war. It was largely an 
American achievement, for reasons which 
will be explained. During the five-year 
period 1941—45, American shipyards de- 
livered vessels aggregating 55,312,000 dead- 
weight tons against Maritime Commission 
orders, of which well over 54,000,000 dead- 
weight tons were suitable for ocean-going 
service on the deepwater or coastal routes. 
This output was roughly three times the 
18,500,000 deadweight ton program which 
was set up by the United States Shipping 
Board in World War I. It was approaching 
four times the 15,000,000 tons actually 
completed during the five-year period 
1917—21. It was substantially greater than 
the 48,000,000 tons launched by all nations 
of the world during the seventeen years, 

December 1941 fortunately found the 
United States relatively well prepared to 
undertake a large program of ship con- 
struction. The major portion of the mer- 
chant fleet built under the World War I 
program had been lost or scrapped and 
most of the shipyards had been dismantled, 
but the constructive provisions of the Mer- 
chant Marine Act of 1936 had established 
the basis for a resurgence in the maritime 

77 World War II figures based on Rpt, United 
States Maritime Commission Official Construction 
Record — Vessels Delivered 1939 Through 1945 
(No. 106), which includes a small amount of 
auxiliary tonnage built for Navy. Edward N. 
Hurley, The Bridge to France (Philadelphia, 1927), 
p. 47; American Bureau of Shipping, The Bulletin 
(October 1941), p. 27; George S. Armstrong & 
Company, The Shipbuilding Industry and the 
Logistics of Amphibious Warfare (New York, 
1943), p. 48, OCT HB Topic Mar Com Shipbuild- 



industry.™ That law had enunciated a na- 
tional maritime policy and created a Mari- 
time Commission to carry the policy into 
effect. The Commission promptly prepared 
standard designs for several types of mer- 
chant vessels and established a sound re- 
placement program to substitute fast 
modern ships for old and outmoded ones. 
The long-range peacetime program which it 
initiated in 1937 contemplated the con- 
struction of fifty ships each year over a 
period of ten years. With war in Europe 
threatening, that program was augmented 
in August 1939 and increased again in 
August 1940. The year 1941 witnessed fur- 
ther heavy increases which brought the en- 
tire program up to approximately 1,200 
ships aggregating 13,000,000 deadweight 
tons. 79 

The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 set 
forth the policy that the United States 
should have a merchant marine not only 
sufficient for commercial purposes but "ca- 
pable of serving as a naval and military 
auxiliary in time of war or national emer- 
gency." The Maritime Commission, being 
specifically charged with making that policy 
effective, was the logical agency to adminis- 
ter the government's wartime program of 
merchant ship construction. During the 
early part of the emergency the Army and 
the Navy informed the Maritime Commis- 
sion directly of their requirements for regu- 
lar troop and cargo vessels, as well as for 
specialized types of merchant ships. Later 
such requirements were considered and 
agreed on by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The 
Army, cognizant of its dependence on mer- 
chant shipping for the performance of its 

" PL 835, 74th Cong., approved June 29, 1936. 

79 Mar Com Rpt for the period ending 25 Oct 
40, pp. 6-7; for the period ending 25 Oct 41, pp. 
2-3, 10-11, App. G. 

mission overseas, kept its requirements con- 
stantly under review and never relaxed its 
pressure for a construction program ade- 
quate to meet its needs. 

The cost of the entire program was cov- 
ered by appropriations to the Maritime 
Commission. During peacetime the War 
Department had paid the Commission for 
used vessels obtained for the Army Trans- 
port Service and its budget had included 
funds with which to reimburse the Mari- 
time Commission for new vessels ordered 
for Army account. In considering a supple- 
mental estimate for the fiscal year 1942 the 
Bureau of the Budget threw out an Army 
request for funds to pay for fourteen vessels 
and informed the War Department that the 
Maritime Commission would procure, build, 
or charter any vessels required by the Army 
from funds available to it.* The arrange- 
ment was in line with the President's policy, 
referred to earlier in this chapter, that mer- 
chant shipping should be held in a national 
pool insofar as practical, with only a limited 
number of vessels assigned to the Army and 
the Navy for their exclusive use. It super- 
seded the clause in Joint Army and Navy 
Basic War Plan — Rainbow 5, which pro- 
vided: ". . . all shipbuilding plants will be 
allocated to the Navy, and the Navy will 
furnish the Army with such overseas trans- 
portation as the Army may require, con- 
sistent with national strategic needs as a 
whole." 81 

Although the United Kingdom had been 
the principal shipbuilding nation of the 

s0 Memo, ACofS G-4 for Cof S USA, 8 Feb 42 ; 
Ltr, CofS USA to Chm Mar Com, 12 Feb 42. Both 
in G-4/ 33006-4. 

81 See JB 325 (Ser 642-5), Rev. 1, Sec. IX, par. 
58c, 19 Nov 41. Arrangement did not apply to 
vessels under 1,000 gross tons which were procured 
by Army, Navy, and Maritime Commission ; nor 
to auxiliary naval vessels which were procured by 
Navy and Maritime Commission. 



world during peacetime, her wartime con- 
tribution of new merchant vessels was by 
agreement relatively small. During the visit 
of the British Prime Minister to the United 
States immediately after Pearl Harbor, the 
President and he agreed that "mutual ad- 
vantages were to be gained by concentrat- 
ing, insofar as it was practical, our energies 
in doing those things which each of us was 
best qualified to do." 82 In line with that 
principle it was decided that since the 
United States had the natural resources and 
the industrial techniques for large-scale 
production, the new merchant shipping re- 
quired by the Allies would be built pre- 
dominantly here, while the British would 
devote their resources and facilities princi- 
pally to the construction of combatant ves- 
sels. Accordingly, the United Kingdom con- 
structed only about 7,000,000 deadweight 
tons of ocean-going merchant ships during 
the five-year period, 1941 — 45, compared 
with more than 54,000,000 deadweight 
tons built in the United States.' s:j During 
this period the British dominions and col- 
onies completed approximately 4,000,000 
deadweight tons, so that the entire output 
of ocean-going merchant shipping by the 
British Commonwealth of Nations was ap- 
proximately one-fifth that of the United 
States. This heavy assignment in the field 
of merchant ships construction did not re- 
lieve the United States of the necessity of 
producing an unprecedented volume of 
naval tonnage. 

Action to greatly expand the merchant 
shipbuilding program of the United States 
was taken early in 1942. In February the 

S2 Ltr, President to Prime Minister, read in 
House of Commons, 3 Aug 43, published in The 
Washington Post, August 4, 1943. 

m WSA Shipping Summary, Sep 45, pp. 10, 150. 
Completions during the last four months of 1945 
are estimated. 

President requested the chairman of the 
Maritime Commission to prepare plans to 
complete 9,000,000 deadweight tons during 
that year and 15,000,000 deadweight tons 
during 1943. 84 The objective for 1942 sub- 
sequently was reduced to 8,000,000 dead- 
weight tons, because of increased require- 
ments for nonmerchant type ships, and ac- 
tual completions totaled 8,044,527 dead- 
weight tons. 8,1 In view of the heavy ship 
losses in 1942 and the prospective military 
requirements, the shipyard capacity was in- 
creased to 20,000,000 deadweight tons an- 
nually, and the actual output for 1943 was 
19,209,991 deadweight tons, which was the 
peak annual performance. In 1944, with 
the submarine crisis fading and plans under 
way for large-scale amphibious operations in 
the Pacific, the emphasis shifted from the 
mass production of slower vessels to the 
construction of faster troop and cargo car- 
riers, assault vessels, and other military 
types, with the result that the completions 
for that year totaled only 16, 299,985 dead- 
weight tons. The Commission's schedule for 
1945 was about 13,000,000 deadweight 
tons. Although cutbacks were ordered in the 
early spring when the German resistance 
was seen to be crumbling, and others fol- 
lowed the Japanese surrender, the cancel- 
lations were not extensive and the 1945 
output was 10,598,154 deadweight tons. se 
The Maritime Commission ship con- 

84 Memo, FDR for Admiral Land, 21 Feb 42, 
copy in OCT HB Topic Mar Com Shipbuilding ; 
Memo, ACofS G-4 for ACofS WPD, 24 Feb 42, 
WPD 2789-33. 

* r> Memo, Wylie for Gross, 8 Mar 42, sub: Conf 
between Army and Mar Com, Trans Br G-4/ 560 
Mar Com; United States Maritime Commission 
Official Construction Record — Vessels Delivered 
1939 through 1945 (No. 106). 

8U Mar Corn Rpt for period ending 30 Jun 45, 
pp. 4, 5; "Byrnes is Firm on Cutbacks," Journal 
of Commerce (New York) , April 2, 1945. 



struction program during the period 1941 
through 1945 included a number of basic 
types and some special types. Most basic 
types were subject to modification to meet 
special war needs. Some modifications were 
made during construction, while others 
were made following delivery. It is difficult, 

therefore, to present a wholly satisfactory 
summary by types. The following tabulation 
classifies the vessels completed during the 
period 1941—45 according to their basic 
types, except that "military types" include 
some other types which were converted 
prior to delivery : 87 

Type of Ship 

No. of Ships 

Deadweight Tons 




Standard Cargo 



Emergency Cargo (Libertv) 



Victory Cargo 



Passenger and Cargo 






Minor Commercial Types 



Military Types 



The Liberty ship, it will be observed, ac- 
counted for more than half the deadweight 
tonnage completed during 1941—45. This 
design originated with an order for 60 
vessels placed with American yards by the 
British late in 1940, and was an adaptation 
of a British coal-burning riveted ship known 
as the Sunderland Tramp. 88 Since speed of 
construction was essential, the fact that the 
basic plans were available was an important 
consideration. Reciprocating engines, oil- 
fired, were used in the Liberty ship because 
they could be procured promptly and with- 
out encroaching on the Navy's turbine and 
diesel requirements for combatant vessels. 

57 Rpt, United States Maritime. Commission 
Official Construction Record — Vessels Delivered 
1939 through 1945 (No. 106). Rpt shows 727 
minor types completed, but this figure includes 
124 tugs and 1 derrick barge for which no tonnage 
is included in total. 

HH Mar Com Rpt for period ending 25 Oct 41, 
p. 10; for period ending 30 Jun 45, p. 3. Merchant 
Shipping, additional rpt of the Senate Special 
Committee Investigating the National Defense Pro- 
gram, Rpt 10, Pt. 18^ June 23, 1944, pp. 5-7, 

The substitution of electric welded for riv- 
eted seams also meant a saving of time and 
labor. The construction plan included ex- 
tensive pref abrication of parts and assembly- 
line methods. The original contracts con- 
templated completion in 210 days. The first 
Liberty to be delivered, the Patrick Henry, 
required 244 days to build, but gradually 
the time for standard Liberties was reduced 
until it reached an average of about 42 days 
in the late months of 1943. December 1943 
produced the lowest monthly average — 39.2 
days. The Liberty ship was criticized be- 
cause of its slow speed (11 knots), faults 
of design, and structural weaknesses; it was 
justified, as an emergency design, on the 
basis of its large capacity and the rapidity 
with which it could be produced. Although 
basically a cargo design, it was converted 
for use as a troop transport, hospital ship, 
prisoner of war ship, tank and airplane 
transport, repair ship, and bulk oil and 
water carrier. 

The Victory ship was developed from the 
Liberty ship design after the pressure for 

WAR-BUILT CARGO SHIPS. The Liberty ship (top) and the Victory ship (bot- 
tom) were designed as freighters,, but many were converted to carry troops. Ships of 
this type were built under the supervision of the U.S. Maritime Commission. 



the mass production of Liberties had eased, 
and the first delivery was made in February 
1944. The Victory had greater speed ( 15 to 
1 7 knots ) than its prototype, which not only 
enabled it to complete its voyage faster but 
rendered it less vulnerable to submarine at- 
tack. Construction of this new type of vessel 
was undertaken against considerable oppo- 
sition, which stemmed from the fact that 
it required more steel than the Liberty and 
propulsion machinery that was less readily 
available. 80 Although basically a cargo car- 
rier, numerous Victory ships were converted 
to troop transports, APA's, and AKA's. The 
standard Victories delivered in May and 
again in June 1945 required an average of 
73 days for completion, which was the 
lowest monthly average. 90 

The so-called "standard cargo'" ships 
were types which had been developed by 
the Maritime Commission before the begin- 
ning of the war in Europe. These vessels 
had speeds ranging from 14 knots for the 
C— 1 to 17 knots for the C— 4. By conversion 
they were made to serve as troop transports, 
APA's, AKA's, and hospital ships. Since 
they were produced by more conventional 
methods, the standard types required longer 
periods for completion than the Liberties 
and the Victories. For example, the lowest 
average completion time for C— 2's delivered 
during a wartime month was 113 days. 1 * 1 

"Military types" included both vessels 
that were basically merchant types but which 

WJ Shipbuilding and Shipping, additional rpt of 
the Senate Special Committee Investigating the 
National Defense Program, Rpt 10, Pt. 8, April 
22, 1943, p. 8; WPB Special Study 26, Shipbuild- 
ing Policies of the War Production Board, 15 Apr 
47, pp. 170-172 (cited hereafter as WPB Study 
26), in OCT HB WPB. 

Hist Rpt 2, Gerald J. Fischer, Statistical Sum- 
mary of Shipbuilding under the U.S. Maritime 
Commission during World War II, 1949, p. 83. 

U1 Ibid. 

had been converted to serve the Army 
and the Navy in overseas areas, and dis- 
tinctly naval designs. In the former class 
were the Liberties, Victories, and standard 
cargo types which were altered to serve as 
troop transports, APA's, AKA's, and escort 
aircraft carriers, and the tankers which the 
Navy used in large numbers. In the latter 
class were the LST's and the frigates (small 
escort vessels ) . 

While barges, carfloats, and other vessels 
for inshore work were included among the 
"minor commercial types," a considerable 
part of the tonnage of this category was 
made up of cargo vessels and tankers of 
from 2,500 to 5,000 deadweight tons, which 
were required for military purposes in the 
oversea theaters. 

The fact that, despite the great need for 
troop and cargo carriers, tankers accounted 
for approximately one-fourth of the total 
deadweight tonnage built by the Maritime 
Commission during the war years testifies to 
the great quantities of petroleum products 
required by the Allies and the heavy losses 
sustained by this type of vessel under the con- 
centrated attack of German submarines. 92 

This remarkable American shipbuilding 
record during World War II was achieved 
only by the most judicious and intensive use 
of facilities, labor, and materials. The ex- 
pansion of shipbuilding facilities is illus- 
trated by the fact that from 1 January 
1 94 1 , by which date considerable expansion 
already had taken place, to the peak of the 
wartime effort, the number of commercial 
shipyards capable of building vessels more 
than 400 feet in length increased from 19 
to 40, and the number of shipways for 

Mar Com Rpt for period ending 30 Jun 43, 
pp. 11-12. 



such vessels increased from 75 to 3 13. 93 The 
number of workers employed in these yards 
for the Maritime Commission program in- 
creased from 47,000 in January 1941 to 
591,000 in the peak month of July 1943." 
Working conditions for shipyard employees 
were made as favorable as possible by gov- 
ernment provisions for housing, feeding, 
local transportation, health, and safety, and 
by nation-wide agreements for the stabiliza- 
tion of wages and the equalization of work- 
ing conditions." 5 Intensive training was 
given to as many as 90 percent of the em- 
ployees of certain yards to prepare them for 
the better performance of their work. The 
principal yards were operated on 24-hour 
basis. The extensive use of electric welding 
and prefabrication permitted much con- 
struction work to be done at a distance from 
the congested shipyard areas. 

The merchant shipbuilding program had 
to compete with many other military and 
nonmilitary programs — warships, escort ves- 
sels, landing craft, aircraft, tanks, guns, in- 
dustrial plant expansion, and lend-lease re- 
quirements, to mention a few — for that 
basic and critical commodity, steel. 90 The 
competition extended to other essential ma- 
terials, and, particularly as between the 
merchant ship and naval programs, to many 
component assemblies which were in short 
supply, such as engines, winches, pumps, 
valves, fans, and electrical equipment. The 

programs had to be co-ordinated so that the 
total production would most effectively sup- 
port the over-all strategic plan. 

The President kept under active observa- 
tion the entire production schedule — mili- 
tary, lend-lease, civilian — and from time to 
time gave specific instructions regarding 
quantities to be produced and priorities to 
be observed. He recognized the essential 
role of ocean transport and in May 1942, 
when the competition between programs 
was keenest, he wrote to the chairman of 
the War Production Board with reference 
to the merchant shipbuilding objective for 
that year: "I cannot over-emphasize the 
necessity that this objective be met, as the 
success of our war effort must rest on our 
ability to provide the shipping required for 
the transportation of our troops and their 
supplies, and to continue the flow of essen- 
tial military equipment to our associates in 
the United Nations." 97 

The War Production Board was the 
President's agent for co-ordinating and con- 
trolling the nation's entire production effort. 
This involved not only bringing the pro- 
grams into accord with the production ca- 
pacity and allocating materials and compo- 
nents in proper proportion, but also control- 
ling the flow of materials and components 
to the individual industrial plants so as to 
avoid the development of uneconomical 
surpluses and shortages. For the better exe- 

s ' 3 Hist rpt 2, Statistical Summary of Shipbuild- 
ing, pp. 94—96. The maximum number of building 
berths used by Maritime Commission for vessels 
over 400 feet was 267. Great expansion also took 
place in facilities for building smaller vessels, and 
in plants for producing engines and other marine 

ni Hist rpt cited 

n. 90. 

05 Mar Com Rpt tor period ending 25 Oct 41, 
p. 13; for period ending 30 Jun 42, pp. 10-12: 
for period ending 30 Jun 43, pp. 23-28; for 
period ending 30 Jun 44, pp. 11 — 13. 

IJG Donald M. Nelson, Arsenal of Democracy 
(New York, 1946), Ch. 12, deals with the con- 
flicting programs from WPB standpoint; WPB 
Study 26, pp. 1-2 7, further develops this subject: 
WPB Report of Steel Division on Steel Expansion 
for War, 14 Jun 45, pp. 1-42, indicates that during 
year ended 30 Jun 44 Maritime Commission re- 
ceived 44.85 percent of total steel plate shipments 
from mills and 56.85 percent of steel plate ship- 
ments for military uses including lend-lease. 

07 Ltr, 1 May 42, reproduced in An. II, JCS 13th 
Mtg, 4 May 42. 



cution of this complicated task insofar as it 
affected shipbuilding, WPB in January 1943 
appointed a Controller of Shipbuilding. 
This official, in addition to working closely 
with the Maritime Commission, the War 
Department, and the Navy, served as chair- 
man of a committee appointed by the Com- 
bined Chiefs of Staff to study the simplifica- 
tion and standardization of ship designs as 
a means of increasing output and improving 
operating efficiency. 98 

As regards the broad range of military 
requirements, the Joint Chiefs of Staff kept 
the programs under constant review to as- 
sure that they were in adjustment with the 
strategic situation. The need for this had 
been discussed at length at a meeting of 
the Joint Board in February 1942. Admiral 
King then pointed out that the first necessi- 
ties were merchant shipping and escort ves- 
sels, without which supplies and equipment 
could not be moved overseas. He expressed 
the conviction that by producing too much 
of certain items which could not be used 
immediately in the prosecution of the war 
we were limiting the production of other 
items which were needed more urgently." 
As a result of this discussion, the Joint 
Planning Committee was directed to review 
the probable military objectives in order of 
priority and determine the vessels, tanks, 
aircraft, guns, etc., which should be pro- 
duced to implement prospective operations. 
This became standard procedure for the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, which began function- 
ing about that time, and their supporting 
organizations, notably the Joint Staff Plan- 

98 CCS 191, 25 Mar 43; JMTC 43d Mtg, 29 Jul 
43; WPB press release for August 22, 1943, OCT 
HB WPB. The Office of Controller was discon- 
tinued in March 1944, according to WPB Study 
26, p. 203. 

09 JB Mtg, 20 Feb 42. 

ners, the Joint Logistics Committee, the 
Joint Military Transportation Committee, 
and the Joint Production Survey Com- 
mittee. 100 

It was not merely a matter of establish- 
ing proper balance between ship construc- 
tion and the production of other types of 
war materiel, but also balance within the 
shipbuilding effort. First, there had to be 
co-ordination between the merchant vessel 
and naval vessel programs. In addition to 
the usual types of combatant vessels, which 
were built in sufficient numbers to establish 
the greatest navy in history, many minor 
types of naval craft were needed. Escort 
vessels were required to protect convoys, 
and throughout the greater part of 1942 
and 1943 such vessels were given high pri- 
ority. 101 After the invasion of North Africa, 
the planning for amphibious operations in 
Europe and the Pacific called for greatly 
increased numbers of landing craft, and this 
program remained heavy until well into 
1944. 102 Beginning in 1943, and especially 
after the invasion of Normandy, with the 
attention of the long-range planners di- 
rected toward the broad ocean expanses and 
numerous Japanese -held objectives in the 
Pacific, the provision of additional combat 
loaders (AKA's and APA's) became a mat- 

100 Memo, JCS for the President, 20 Jul 43, sub: 
Logistics Planning, OPD 381, Sec IV; Memo, USN 
(Forrestal) for the. President, 21 Sep 43; Memo, 
the President for SN, 28 Sep 43, sub: Navy Build- 
ing Program. Last two in G— 4/561. The Army and 
Navy Munitions Board, although technically in- 
dependent, functioned in close co-ordination with 
the JCS organization. 

101 Ltr, the President to Donald M. Nelson, 1 
May 42, reproduced as An. II, JCS 13th Mtg, 4 
May 42; Memos, JCS for the President, 16 Oct 
42 and 2 Jan 43. All in G-4/561. 

102 Memo, CG SOS (Somervell in North Africa) 
for CofS SOS (Styer), 23 Jan 43, par. 4, OCT HB 
Wylie Urgent Matters; WPB Study 26, pp. 134-38. 



ter of primary importance. 103 This involved 
not only converting some of the faster cargo 
ships but building specially designed com- 
bat loaders which were smaller and there- 
fore more suitable than the converted 
vessels for operation at Pacific beachheads 
and in small harbors. Every combat loader 
was built at the expense of more than two 
dry cargo vessels, because of the longer time 
required to build them and the amount of 
critical materials and equipment utilized. 104 
It was estimated that the construction of 
175,000 tons of tank landing ships (LST's) 
was at the expense of at least 775,000 dead- 
weight tons of Liberty ships. 

Also, the program for the construction 
of the various types of merchant ships 
needed careful watching to keep it in har- 
mony with the changing requirements. Bas- 
ically, the problem was to provide troop 
carriers, dry cargo ships, and tankers in such 
proportions as to avoid having an excess of 
one type over the others, since that would 
result in some vessels not being employed 
to the maximum. 105 Many variables en- 
tered into the calculations, but the principal 
considerations were changes in the strategic 
situation, changes in the loss rates for the 
several types of ships, prospective comple- 
tions of ships, and oversea port conditions. 106 
Immediately after our entry into the war 
there was urgent need for moving troops to 
strategic oversea bases, and a critical short- 
age of troop carriers was the natural result. 

103 Rpt, Chm of WPB, War Production in 1944, 
June 1945, p. 19; Ltr, JCS (Leahy) to WSA 
(Land), 8 Jan 43, OCT HB Topic Mar Com 
Shipbuilding; WPB Study 26, pp. 177-86. 

104 Memo, CG ASF for CofS USA, 6 Nov 43, 
OCT HB Topic Mar Com Shipbuilding; Nelson, 
Arsenal of Democracy, p. 255. 

105 JMTC 17th Mtg, 29 Oct 42, discussed need 
of revision of program. 

10fl See Annual Rpt, Ping Div OCT, 4 Jul 44, pp. 
1-2, OCT HB Ping Div Gen. 

The shortage of troop lift was relieved for 
the moment by altering existing American 
passenger vessels to increase their capacities 
and by arranging for the use of British 
liners, and the construction of new troop- 
ships was ordered with deliveries beginning 
in 1943. 1117 As the year 1942 progressed, the 
heavy shipping requirements for the move- 
ment of lend-lease supplies, the increasing 
maintenance requirements of our growing 
oversea forces, and the heavy losses sus- 
tained by the freighter and tanker fleets 
forecast serious shortages of those types, and 
all possible pressure was exerted to increase 
deliveries under expanded programs. 108 
During 1943, as antisubmarine measures 
cut down the loss rate for freight ships and 
completions of new freighters exceeded 
earlier estimates, it became apparent that 
there would be need for greater troop ca- 
pacity than had been planned for. This was 
obtained by converting cargo vessels to 
troop carriers. A practical balance between 
troop and cargo capacities was attained in 
that manner, and it was maintained to the 
end of the war in Europe by a constant 
review of military plans and require- 
ments. inn After V-E Day the need for 

107 CCS 56/1, 6 Mar 42, par. 7; Biennial Rpt, 
CofS USA, 1943, n. 6. 

1,,K CCS 39/1, 14 Mar 42. 1943 program was the 
most critical and was considered repeatedly by JCS 
and JMTC during 1942 and 1943. See JMT 9, 
12 Nov 42, sub: Modification of 1943 Shipbuild- 
ing Program; JCS 151, 13 Nov 42, same sub. 

100 See Ltr, WSA to JCS, 21 Jul 43, in JCS 
420, 22 Jul 43; Statement, Ping Div OCT for CG 
ASF, The Problem of Personnel Versus Cargo 
Shipping, 2 Aug 43, OCT HB Ping Div Gen; State- 
ment, Ping Div OCT, Maintenance of a Balanced 
Overseas Fleet, Feb 44, OCT HB Ping Div Gen; 
Statement atchd to Memo, Shipping Requirements 
Br Ping Div OCT for Hist Unit OCT, 21 Apr 
44, OCT HB Ping Div Gen; Statement atchd to 
Memo, CO ASF for Sp Asst to SW, 8 Mar 44, sub : 
Senate Investigation, Liberty Ships, AG 564 Liberty 



greatly increased troop capacity for rede- 
ployment and repatriation was met largely 
through further cargo ship conversions. 

The Joint Military Transportation Com- 
mittee, consisting of two representatives each 
of the Army and the Navy, kept the mer- 
chant shipbuilding programs under constant 
review in order to hold them in proper 
relationship with anticipated military ship- 
ping requirements. 110 A representative of 
Admiral Land, who was both chairman of 
the Maritime Commission and War Ship- 
ping Administrator, was invited to attend 
JMTC meetings as an associate member 
when matters of interest to those agencies 
were to be considered. Reports and recom- 
mendations relating to the shipbuilding pro- 
gram might originate with the committee, 
or they might follow directions issued by 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff that particular 
matters be studied. When such recom- 
mendations had been approved by JCS they 
were transmitted to the chairman of the 
Maritime Commission, who did what was 
necessary to give them effect, subject to 
general or specific directives issued by the 
President. 111 The interests and opinions of 
the armed services and the civilian agencies 
over which Admiral Land presided were 
not always identical, but a free exchange of 
information and views and the fact that the 
military requirements were recognized as 
paramount enabled JMTC to function in 
a highly effective manner. 

lllJ For charter of JMTC see JCS 202/16/D, 11 
May 43, and JCS 202/27/D, 13 Oct 43. Repre- 
sentative of AAF was invited to meetings at which 
matters of special interest to AAF were considered. 
JCS 20/2/D, 30 Jun 45, increased membership of 
Army and Navy to 3 each to permit G— 4 to be 

111 See Ltrs, Admiral Leahy to Admiral Land, 17 
Sep 42, 8 Jan 43, 2 Mar 43, OCT HB Topic Mar 
Com Shipbuilding. 

Generals Somervell and Gross were the 
Army representatives on the Joint Military 
Transportation Committee, and they gave 
close attention to all aspects of its work. 
Somervell actually participated in the com- 
mittee's work only occasionally, but he was 
kept informed of significant developments. 
Gross attended most of the meetings, sup- 
ported by members of his Planning Division 
and sometimes by his Director of Opera- 
tions or his Director of Water Transporta- 
tion. His planning staff kept future supply 
and demand in the shipping field constantly 
under review and prepared frequent analyses 
which took into account all foreseeable 
developments in the strategic and logistic 
situation." 2 On the basis of these analyses 
recommendations were placed before 
JMTC for such adjustments in the ship- 
building program as seemed necessary to 
assure to the Army the amounts and types 
of shipping that it would require. Both 
Gross and Somervell looked upon JMTC 
as the proper and best qualified agency for 
dealing with such matters. They objected 
to the Navy's attitude, encountered during 
the summer of 1943, that recommendations 
of JMTC to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, if 
questioned by the Navy, should be referred 
to the Joint Administrative Committee for 
review, Somervell brought to Admiral 
Home's attention the delay which this pro- 
cedure entailed; he stated that the Army 
was prepared to stand by the actions of 
its representatives on the Joint Military 
Transportation Committee and urged that 
the Navy adjust its representation so that 
it could do likewise. 113 

112 Copies of numerous studies are in OCT HB 
Ping Div Studies, and OCT HB Gross Analyses 

113 Memo, 12 Jul 43, sub: Navy Representation 
on JMTC, AG 334 JMTC. Operating as well as 
shipbuilding matters were involved. 



The Combined Chiefs of Staff, the Com- 
bined Military Transportation Committee, 
and the related American-British organiza- 
tions did not ordinarily deal directly with 
the American merchant ship construction 
program, but because of their concern with 
the utilization of Allied resources and the 
success of Allied strategy their deliberations 
touched that field on a number of occasions. 
In the summer of 1942, when the shortage 
of steel was a governing factor in determin- 
ing the amount of merchant ship and naval 
construction that could be undertaken, Mr. 
Harry Hopkins, as Chairman, Munitions 
Assignment Board, referred to CCS a mem- 
orandum from the Munitions Assignment 
Board (Navy), recommending an increase 
in the American escort vessel program, 
which under the circumstances would in- 
volve a decrease in the merchant vessel 
program. 114 When the matter was presented 
at a CCS meeting, General Marshall stated 
that the U.S. Chiefs of Staff already had it 
under consideration and recommended that 
since only American shipbuilding was con- 
cerned the memorandum should be referred 
to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Several weeks 
later it was reported that upon recom- 
mendation of JCS the President had re- 
duced the merchant shipbuilding objective 
for 1942-43 from 28,000,000 to 24,000,000 
deadweight tons. 115 The question of the 
adequacy of the escort vessel and landing 
craft programs came before the combined 
organizations from time to time thereafter, 
but without direct reference to the amount 
of merchant shipping to be built in the 
United States. 

1M GPS 33/D, 9 Jun 42, Incls A, B, C : CCS 25th 
Mtg, 16 Jun 42, Item 1; see CCS 1 18, 15 Oct 42, 
for British position. 

115 CCS 30th Mtg, 2 Jul 42, Item 2; JCS 70, 11 
Jul 42, Items 3 and 4. The cut in the program was 
later restored. 

An appreciation of the American ship- 
building achievement requires consideration 
of the programs of the Navy and the Army, 
which competed with the Maritime Com- 
mission for facilities, materials, equipment, 
and labor. During the years 1941-45 the 
Navy completed under its own contracts a 
total of 10,735 new vessels, including com- 
batant, amphibious, auxiliary, mine, patrol, 
and service vessels. In addition the Navy 
completed about 98,000 small landing craft 
and other small boats. The Army under its 
own contracts completed about 13,900 small 
vessels and other items of floating equip- 
ment. 116 

Central Control of Ship Employment 

Because of the persistent scarcity of bot- 
toms to carry out Allied military designs, it 
was necessary that the available shipping be 
employed in the most effective manner. As 
already indicated, that necessity was fore- 
cast well before the United States entered 
the war, and early in 1941 the President 
tooks steps to place the greater portion of 
the American merchant fleet under the con- 
trol of one agency, the Maritime Com- 
mission. There remained, however, the 
problem of determining how ships in the 
pool should be used to best serve the national 
interest. During 1941 and the early months 
of 1942 this problem remained unsolved. 
The Maritime Commission, and the War 

110 New "Navy vessels (10,735) based on Ltr, 
BUSIIIPS USN to C of Hist Div SSUSA, 27 Mar 
50, excluding vessels built for Navy by Mar Com, 
OCT IIB Topic Navy. Navy small landing craft and 
small boats (98,000) based on Admiral King's rpt, 
cited [rT 731 above, which includes limited number 
of used vessels. Army completions from WD, Report 
of Army Small Boats Constructed, 1 July 1940 to 
31 May 1945, 18 Dec 45, are extended to 31 Dec 
45 by data from Supply Div OCT, OCT HB 
Water Div Small Boats. 



Shipping Administration after its establish- 
ment early in February 1942, were con- 
fronted with the difficult task of allocating 
vessels to meet the needs of the Army and 
the Navy and fulfill lend-lease commit- 
ments, while at the same time maintaining 
what were considered essential commercial 
services. That was a task which under the 
circumstances could not possibly be per- 
formed to the satisfaction of all parties. 
The deficit in ships had to be distributed — 
there was no alternative. 117 

It was the hope of the President that the 
Strategic Shipping Board, which he estab- 
lished soon after we entered the war, would 
be an effective instrument for planning ship 
allocations. It failed to accomplish that 
purpose, however, because of the differing 
views held by the participating agencies — 
the Army, the Navy, and the. Maritime 
Commission. 118 The Army submitted its 
requirements to the Maritime Commission 
and later to the War Shipping Administra- 
tion but received no better assurance than 
that every possible effort would be made to 
meet them. 119 The President gave specific 
directions from time to time regarding the 

117 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 12 Jan 42, 
sub : Shipping Capabilities to Reinforce ABDA 
Region, Trans Br G-4/ 560 Mar Com ; Memo, Chm 
Mar Com for the President, 17 Feb 42, sub: Conf 
with Hopkins, Somervell, Gross, Trans Br G-4/560 
Mar Com; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 20 
Feb 42, sub: Acquisition of Vessels for Contem- 
plated Movements ; Memo, CofS USA for the 
President, 21 Feb 42, same subject. Last two in 
G-4/ 297 17-1 15. 

118 See Bureau of the Budget, The United Slates 
at War ( Washin gton, 1946), pp. 148, 149. See 
also n. 61, |Ch. Il) of this volume. 

119 Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for ACofS G-4, 26 
Dec 41, sub: Conf with Mr. Harry Hopkins, OCT 
HB Gross Day File: Memo, ACofS G-4 for Chm 
Mar Com, 31 Jan 42, OCT HB Gross Analyses 
Trans; Ltr, WSA for CG SOS, 4 Mar 42 (SOS 
was not established officially until 9 Mar 42), OCT 
HB Gross Day File. 

utilization of ships, and at that period there 
seemed to be no other means of resolving 
differences between the several claimant 
agencies than by appeal to the Chief Execu- 
tive. 120 

Aside from ships to carry out immediate 
tasks, the Army's great need was for a long- 
range plan for the distribution of shipping 
to enable it to determine in advance, and 
with reasonable assurance of fulfillment, the 
number of troops and the tons of cargo it 
would be able to move overseas during the 
ensuing year. As a step in that direction a 
plan for the distribution of cargo shipping 
during the remainder of 1942 was worked 
out early in March, in conferences between 
representatives of the Army, the Navy, the 
Lend-Lease Administration, and the War 
Shipping Administration. 121 This prelimin- 
ary step in long-range planning was fol- 
lowed by the development of more per- 
manent procedures. 

While these early difficulties were being 
encountered in connection with the employ- 
ment of shipping under the American flag, 
the same problem was being dealt with on 
an international scale. Co-ordination of 
the employment of American and British 
bottoms so as to obtain maximum results 
for the Allied cause was undertaken in- 
formally at the British-American confer- 
ences which began in Washington late in 
December 1941, and more systematic stand- 
ing procedures soon were developed. The 

120 Memo, ACofS G^l- for Rear Adm Taffinder 
USN, 14 Feb 42, sub: Use of Navy Transports for 
Movement to X, OCT HB Gross Day File; Memo, 
ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 20 Feb 42, sub: 
Acquisition of Vessels, with draft of memo for 
signature of President, for Chm Mar Com, direct- 
ing assignment of troop and cargo ships to Army 
for movement to Pacific, G^l/297 1 7-1 15. 

121 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 7 Mar 42, 
sub: Allocation of Cargo Shipping for 1942, OCT 
HB Gross Day File, 



Combined Shipping Adjustment Board, a 
high-level civilian agency responsible di- 
rectly to the President and the Prime 
Minister, was established in January with 
branches in Washington and London. 122 
Its function was to propose such exchanges 
of British and American shipping as would 
produce the best over-all results, taking into 
account civilian and lend-lease requirements 
as well as military needs. The Combined 
Chiefs of Staff, which began functioning in 
February, dealt primarily with the military 
aspects of shipping, but in its estimation of 
military requirements and its effort to pro- 
pose sources from which those requirements 
could be met, CCS necessarily took into con- 
sideration the possibility of reducing civilian 
and lend-lease shipping services. The effec- 
tive utilization of shipping was an in- 
evitable subject for consideration at the re- 
current meetings of the President, the Prime 
Minister, and the heads of other Allied 
governments for the determination of 
strategy, on which occasions both the 
civilian and the military aspects were re- 

The shipping which served the Allies, 
excluding those vessels which were more or 
less permanently assigned to the armed 
services, was operated in two large pools, 
one under control of the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration and the other under the control 
of the British Ministry of War Transport. 
The pools included not only the merchant 
fleets of the Allied countries but as much 
neutral tonnage as could be chartered and 

132 Memorandum of Organization, 19 Feb 42, 
signed by Admiral Emory S. Land and Sir Arthur 
Salter, members of Washington branch, states 
purpose, policies, and principal tasks of CSAB, 
OCT 334 CSAB. Members of London branch were 
W. Averell Harriman for U.S. and Lord Leathers 
for UK. See Bureau of Budget, The United States 
at War, p. 151. 

such enemy vessels as had been interned 
or captured. Exchanges of shipping be- 
tween the British and American pools 
usually did not involve changing flags or 
operating controls but merely the assign- 
ment of the use of a vessel or vessels for a 
voyage or a period. The United States, 
however, transferred many vessels to the 
flags and the controls of other nations, 
chiefly the United Kingdom and the Soviet 
Union. 123 On 1 January 1942, a few weeks 
after the entry of the United States into the 
war, the ocean-going merchant shipping 
available to the Allies totaled 44,390,000 
deadweight tons. By 30 June 1945 the total 
had increased to 88,035,000 deadweight 
tons, of which 52,648,000 were available to 
the United States and 35,387,000 to other 
United Nations, principally the British 
Commonwealth. Of the total for 30 June 
1945, 66,228,000 deadweight tons were 
accounted for by dry cargo and passenger 
vessels and 21,807,000 deadweight tons by 
tankers. 124 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the American 
component of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 
had an important role in determining the 
employment of shipping. In regard to stra- 
tegic and logistic matters, of which shipping 
was at all times an essential element, JCS 
performed the dual function of planning 
and controlling the American military op- 
erations and representing the American in- 
terests in the combined deliberations. JCS 
determined the employment of the shipping 
which was made available to the American 

123 "WSA Announces Charter Pool to Supply 
Allies with Ships," Journal of Commerce (New 
York), July 30, 1943. WSA Shipping Summary, 30 
Jun 45, p. 16, shows total of 427 U.S. vessels 
lend-leased to other countries, including 325 to UK 
and 98 to USSR. The number increased subse- 

124 CCS 203, 24 Apr 43, p. 8; ASF MPR, Sec. 
3, Jul 45, p. 65. 

TROOPSHIPS IN THE U.S. POOL. The Mariposa, a prewar American passenger 
liner ((op), and the John Ericsson, a former Swedish vessel (bottom). Both were 
operated by agents of the War Shipping Administration. 



armed forces and estimated the volume and 
types of shipping which future operations 
would require. Despite the inevitable con- 
flict of interests between the Army and the 
Navy, JCS dealt with the shipping aspects 
of its work in an effective manner. The fact 
that the President was represented on JCS 
by Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of 
Staff to the Commander in Chief of the 
Army and Navy, facilitated decisions and 
meant that it was not often necessary to call 
on the Chief Executive himself to settle 
differences relative to the utilization of 

The basic work for the Combined and 
Joint Chiefs of Staff in regard to the em- 
ployment of shipping was done by the 
Combined and Joint Military Transporta- 
tion Committees. 1 " The numerous studies 
prepared by these committees covered the 
entire range of Allied shipping operations. 
They provided the transportation calcula- 
tions upon which the parent organizations, 
and the heads of governments at their 
occasional meetings, based their strategic 
and logistic decisions. They provided the 
data for determining the deployment of 
shipping to most economically and ef- 
fectively implement strategic decisions. The 
strategic proposals of the Combined and 
Joint Staff Planners were necessarily hypo- 
thetical until they had been translated into 
terms of shipping by CMTC and JMTC 
and their practicability tested in the light of 
total shipping requirements and the capa- 
bilities of the vessels expected to be avail- 
able. Those committees estimated the loss 
rates to be used in determining, for planning 
purposes, the amount of shipping likely to 
be available at specific future dates. They 

1=3 CCS 24, 2 Feb 42, Item 1, records establish- 
ment of CMTC, and CCS 24/1, 10 Feb 42, states 
functions and composition. 

dealt not only with the employment of 
blocks of tonnage but on occasion with the 
assignment of specific vessels to specific 
tasks. They gave attention to the efficiency 
with which shipping was employed and 
made proposals for improving the dispatch 
of vessels at ports, reducing the time re- 
quired for round voyages, and regulating 
the retention of ships in the theaters for 
storage purposes or for intratheater opera- 

Authority to allocate the shipping under 
United States control to the several uses 
rested with the War Shipping Administra- 
tion, under Presidential directive. In the 
exercise of that authority WSA was obliged 
to take into account, in addition to military 
requirements as formulated by JCS, the 
President's views and commitments relat- 
ino; to lend-lease, decisions of the President's 
Soviet Protocol Committee, policies of the 
Bureau of Economic Warfare and the State 
Department pertaining to international re- 
lations, and the need for strategic imports. 
Because there usually was not enough ship- 
ping to meet all needs fully, and in 
order to avoid the delays to strategic and 
logistic planning which resulted from ad- 
justments in its shipping program after such 
planning was well progressed, JCS en- 
deavored to effect a distribution of the 
deficit among the several programs as early 
as possible. To accomplish this a representa- 
tive of WSA was invited to sit as an as- 
sociate member with the Joint Military 
Transportation Committee. This repre- 
sentative had knowledge of lend-lease and 
civilian shipping plans as well as of the 
prospective availability of bottoms, and 
with his assistance JMTC was able to work 
out many adjustments and eliminate many 
conflicts which would have resulted if the 
several programs had been established en- 



tirely independently of each other. Despite 
this attempt to place the respective pro- 
grams on a realistic basis in their early 
stages, there still were conflicts which had to 
be settled ultimately by the President. 126 

A similar procedure was followed by the 
Combined Military Transportation Com- 
mittee in endeavoring to adjust programs 
which affected both British and American 
shipping. Representatives of the British 
Ministry of War Transport and the War 
Shipping Administration sat with this com- 
mittee when shipping allocations were being 
considered. The problems of CMTC dif- 
fered from those of JMTC, however, be- 
cause the broad aspects of the employment 
of the combined British-American shipping 
resources were in large measure covered in 
the strategic decisions of the President and 
the Prime Minister. 

General Gross, as a member of both the 
Joint and the Combined Military Trans- 
portation Committees, consistently took the 
position that military requirements, that is, 
requirements of the Army and the Navy, 
should have first priority in the allocation 
of cargo vessels. 127 In support of this posi- 
tion he could cite the language of the ex- 
ecutive order creating WSA, which stated: 
"In allocating the use of . . . vessels, the 
Administrator shall comply with strategic 
military requirements." This attitude was 
reflected in a study, prepared under his 

126 See monograph by Col M. B. Stokes, Jr., C of 
Ping Div OCT, Shipping in War, 22 Mar 46, pp. 
8-10, OCT HB Topic Logistics Gen. 

127 EO 9054, 7 Feb 42, par. 4: Memo, ACofS 
G-4 for CofS USA, 19 Jan 42, sub: Maximum 
Troop Movement ... if Given First Priority, 
OCT HB Gross Day File; Memo, C of Trans Br 
G-4 for ACofS G-4, 30 Jan 42, sub: Navy Draft 
of Paper Setting up CMTC, G-4/ 338 13-1; Memo 
for record by Gross, 30 Dec 42, sub: Conf with 
Hopkins, OCT HB Gross Day File; CMTC 61st 
Mtg, 15 Mar 43, Item 1 ; see also Memo, CofT for 
CofS USA, 17 Mar 43, ASF Hq Shipping, 1942-43. 

supervision in January 1942, regarding the 
availability of shipping for troop move- 
ments. It was evidenced a few weeks later 
in his criticism of preliminary proposals con- 
cerning the establishment of CMTC, which 
he felt left the allocation of shipping too 
much in the hands of the Combined Ship- 
ping Adjustment Board, a civilian agency. 
It found expression in a memorandum for 
record, prepared in December 1942 after 
a conference with Mr. Harry Hopkins, in 
which he stated that the allocation of ad- 
ditional ships to the Russian lend-lease pro- 
gram was a strategic decision which should 
be made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It 
was reflected again in his remarks before 
CMTC regarding the "devastating" effect 
which the proposed allocation of American 
vessels to the British import program would 
have on plans for the movement of Ameri- 
can troops to oversea theaters in 1943. 

The Army's Chief of Transportation 
made a clear presentation of his views on 
this subject, which he indicated were shared 
by the U.S. Navy, at meetings of the Com- 
bined Military Transportation Committee 
early in 1945 when consideration was be- 
ing given to the supply of cargo shipping 
in relation to projected military opera- 
tions. 128 He contended specifically that mili- 
tary requirements should have first priority 
and that until those requirements had been 
met the other programs should be subject 
to clearance by the military authorities. The 
opposite view, expressed by the representa- 
tive of the War Shipping Administration 
and supported by British military and civil- 
ian representatives, was that the military 
authorities had not been vested with control 

128 CMTC 92d Mtg, 2 Jan 45, Item 1 ; CMTC 
93d Mtg, 12 Jan 45, Item 1; Memo, CG ASF 
(Styer) for ASW (McCloy), prepared 15 Jan 45, 
sub: Recommendations on Cargo Shipping, OCT 
HB Wylie Staybacks. 



over allocations for nonmilitary programs 
and that decision regarding the shipping to 
be utilized by such programs rested with 
the heads of governments. As has been in- 
dicated, the latter was a correct statement 
of the manner in which the broad aspects 
of ship allocations were dealt with through- 
out the war. Since lend-lease and the civil- 
ian economy were so thoroughly interrelated 
with the military program it is a matter of 
conjecture how different the allocations 
would have been if the procedure advocated 
by Gross had been in effect. 

The Joint Military Transportation Com- 
mittee dealt with long-range programs for 
the utilization of shipping, usually making 
its estimate for six-month periods but keep- 
ing those estimates constantly under review 
and revision. Since the Army was the 
largest claimant for vessels, the Chief of 
Transportation on his own initiative kept 
the entire shipping situation under study 
through his Planning Division. That divi- 
sion prepared frequent statements regarding 
the whole or particular phases of the ocean 
transportation problem, utilizing estimates 
of troops to be sent overseas prepared by 
the Operations Division of the General 
Staff, experience data concerning the supply 
requirements of troops already overseas, 
forecasts of the delivery of new vessels and 
of sinkings by the enemy, probable turn- 
around cycles on the several routes, the 
probable lay up of vessels for repairs, the 
probable shipping needs of the oversea com- 
manders for intratheater operations, and 
other factors which required consideration. 
When it became apparent that the shipping 
allocated to the Army would be inadequate 
to meet its needs, that fact was brought to 
the attention of the Joint Military Trans- 
portation Committee, with recommenda- 
tions regarding adjustments to remedy the 

situation. In the relatively few instances 
when shipping capabilities were found to 
permit the expansion of certain operations 
beyond what had been planned, JMTC 
was so informed. 129 

Supplementing their role in connection 
with the distribution of shipping, the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff took an active hand in im- 
proving the utilization of vessels in the 
theaters. Long delays in discharging cargoes 
in some of the oversea areas and the free- 
dom with which certain theater command- 
ers retained transoceanic ships for use in 
intratheater operations appreciably reduced 
the number of bottoms available for out- 
ward loading from the United States and 
thus accentuated the effect of the shipping 
shortage on all military programs. Late in 
1944, when the accumulation of shipping 
in oversea ports became so serious as to call 
for Presidential intervention, JCS took 
drastic action to reduce the congestion 
which already existed and established rules 
which were intended to prevent the recur- 
rence of such a situation. The effect of these 
actions will be discussed in a later chapter 
of this volume. 

The Army and the Navy negotiated 
numerous agreements outside the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, which affected the employ- 
ment of the ships under their control. Since 
the two services worked side by side in the 
theaters, co-ordination was necessary to 
avoid needless duplication and resultant 
waste in their supply and shipping opera- 
tions. This was particularly true in the 
Pacific where the Navy's logistic responsi- 

129 Concerning functions and methods of Ping 
Div, see its annual reports; Col M. B. Stokes, Jr., 
C of Ping Div, Presentation Before Army Service 
Forces Headquarters Staff School, undated ; State- 
ment prepared in Ping Div, 28 Sep 45, sub: Ping 
for Ocean Shipping. All in OCT HB Ping Div Gen. 



bilities were larger then elsewhere. An effort 
for co-ordination, which General Gross fully 
endorsed and supported, brought success in 
some directions and frustration in others. 

The first significant agreement of that 
nature, entitled "Joint Logistics Plan for the 
Support of United States Bases in the South 
Pacific," was adopted in July 1942. 130 Its 
purpose was to reduce the waste which had 
resulted from the maintenance of wholly 
independent supply systems in the South 
Pacific Area, where joint bases were set up 
during the early months of the war. Sup- 
plies which were in common use were 
broken down into categories, and responsi- 
bility for each category at each base was 
assigned either to the Army or the Navy. 
The commander of the South Pacific Area 
(a naval officer) was given control of all 
United States shipping assigned to the area 
and over-all responsibility for the distribu- 
tion of supplies within the area. A Joint 
Purchasing Board was established at Well- 
ington to procure such supplies as were 
available in New Zealand and Australia and 
thus to reduce the weight of the requisitions 
sent to the zone of interior and the amount 
of shipping utilized in filling them. That 
agreement served as a prototype for ar- 
rangements affecting other areas. 

In February 1943 a series of agreements 
was approved by the two departments, pro- 
viding for a division of responsibilities in 
order to avoid overlapping in the supply 
and transportation of food and petroleum 
products for Army and Navy personnel at 
certain Atlantic and Caribbean bases and 
in Africa and the British Isles. 131 During the 
following month a further and broader 
agreement was signed, the purpose of which 

130 pj an s ig ne d by Admiral Home and General 
Somervell, 15 Jul 42, OCT HB Topic Army-Navy 
Joint Logistics. 

was to "insure co-ordinated logistical effort 
and procedure in each command area . . . 
involving joint Army-Navy operations in 
which unity of command and responsibility 
has been established to the end that the 
combined personnel, equipment, supplies, 
facilities, shipping and other services of the 
Army and Navy are most effectively utilized 
and adequately provided." 132 Under this 
Basic Logistical Plan each oversea area 
commander was required to effect co-or- 
dination of all existing agencies charged 
with the planning, conduct, and supervision 
of logistical services within the area, and 
Army and Navy seaboard agencies in the 
United States which served such areas were 
charged with co-ordinating the allocation of 
shipping and the loading and routing of 

The Chief of Transportation informed 
the commanders of the several ports of em- 
barkation that while the principles of the 
Basic Logistical Plan were especially ap- 
plicable to the Pacific they were to be 
applied to some extent to other ports, and 
directed the Army port commanders to 
initiate conferences with the corresponding 
naval commanders in order to implement 
the agreement. 133 The port commanders 
were instructed also to take the initiative 
in forming committees, including repre- 
sentatives of the War Shipping Administra- 

]31 Joint Memo, CG SOS USA and VCNO USN 
for Army and Navy romdrs at home ports and 
oversea bases, 27 Feb 43, sub: Army and Navy 
Agreements Relating to Supply of Food and 
Petroleum Products in Atlantic, OCT HB Topic 
Army-Navy Joint Logistics. 

13 - Agreement, Basic Logistical Plan for Com- 
mand Areas Involving Joint Army and Navy Op- 
erations, promulgated by TAG USA, 7 Mar 43, 
and by CinC U.S. Fleet, 8 Mar 43, OPD 381 

ma Memos, ACofT for port comdrs, 7 Mar 43 
and 24 Mar 43, OCT HB Topic Army-Navy Joint 



tion as well as the Navy, to deal with the 
employment of shipping, longshore labor, 
and ship repair facilities. Special instructions 
were sent to the Army port commander at 
San Francisco, where a committee of Army, 
Navy, and WSA representatives already had 
been set up and was functioning infor- 
mally.^ 4 He was advised that the shipping 
schedules worked out by the committee 
should be forwarded to Army and Navy 
commanders in the respective oversea areas, 
with requests that they submit joint state- 
ments of priorities based on the anticipated 
movement capabilities. He was informed 
that all cargo vessels, whether owned or 
chartered by the Army or the Navy or 
allocated to them by WSA, were to be con- 
sidered available for either or both services 
for use in accordance with the joint priority 
lists established in the theaters. The San 
Francisco port commander was advised fur- 
ther that while the approved plan applied 
onlv to cargo, a similar arrangement re- 
garding troop movements was desirable, 
since the Army believed that the Navy some- 
times asserted priority rights to troop space 
because the vessels w r ere operated by or 
allocated to the Navy, not because naval 
personnel was the more urgently needed 

In May 1943 the Basic Logistical Plan 
was supplemented with an agreement which 
directed that a single joint priority list be 
prepared for personnel moving to all areas 
of the Pacific, except the northern and 
southeastern areas, and that standing op- 
erating procedures be established for the 
implementation of the priority lists con- 
templated by both the original and the sup- 

114 Ltr, CG SFPE to CofT, 6 Feb 43, OCT HB 
Gross Day File; Ltr, ACofT to CG SFPE, 7 Mar 
43, OCT HB Topic Army-Navy Joint Logistics. 

plementary agreements. 133 Soon thereafter 
a general plan for the administration of 
joint priorities for personnel moving from 
west coast ports to the Central, South, and 
Southwest Pacific Areas was adopted. 138 
The Chief of Transportation then proposed 
more detailed joint procedures for cargo as 
well as personnel movements, including 
strong central control of shipping, but after 
consideration of the proposal the Navy 
stated that it considered such further action 
unnecessary. 137 

The question of joint cargo priorities con- 
tinued to receive attention, but an arrange- 
ment wholly satisfactory to the Army was 
not achieved. Although joint cargo prior- 
ity lists were prepared by the commanders 
of the respective Pacific theaters, means of 
establishing proper balance between the 
theaters was lacking, and this was a-serious 
weakness in view of the scarcity of shipping 
and the competition between the oversea 
commanders for cargo space. 138 

The Joint Army-Navy-WSA Ship Opera- 
tions Committee, which was set up in- 
formally at San Francisco early in 1943, 

13r> Agreement, CofS USA and COMINCH, 
26 May 43, sub: Joint Priority List for Pacific 
Shipments, OCT HB Topic Army-Navy Joint 
Logi sties. 

1315 Memo, Dir NTS and CofT for Comdt Twelfth 
Naval Dist and CG SFPE, 7 Jun 43, OCT HB 
Topic Army-Navy Joint Logistics. 

137 Memo, CofT for Dir NTS, 1 Jul 43, sub: 
Joint Troop and Cargo Movements West Coast, 
OCT HB Topic Army-Navy Joint Logistics; 1st 
Memo Ind, Dir NTS for CofT, 28 Jul 43,' OCT HB 
Topic Army-Navy Joint Logistics : Memo, Dir NTS 
for CofT, 5 Jun 44; Memo, CofT for Dir NTS, 7 
Jun 44. Last two in OCT 563.5 Pacific Ocean 

,1K For OCT view see Ltr, Lt Col R. D. Meyer, 
Deputy Dir of Opns during the war, to C. C. 
Wardlow, 21 Jul 49, OCT HB Army-Navy Joint 
Logistics. Concerning Navy experience with cargo 
priorities see Duncan S. Ballantine, U.S. Naval 
Logistics in the Second World War (Princeton, 
1947), pp. 229-33. 



undertook to co-ordinate the shipping activi- 
ties of the three agencies in order to obtain 
the best possible utilization of ships sailing 
from the Pacific coast in accordance with 
determinations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
and to control the use of port facilities. In 
November 1943 the Navy, which was in 
process of vesting greater authority over 
naval logistics in its Pacific coast organiza- 
tion, proposed that the committee's functions 
be more clearly defined. 139 The Army 
objected to certain provisions in the Navy's 
draft of an agreement, which it believed 
might be so interpreted as to give the com- 
mittee greater control over ship and port 
operations than the Army was willing to 
accord. 140 In the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation critics of the proposed 
agreement argued that in view of the tight 
transportation situation and the necessity 
of controlling steamship and railway opera- 
tions and troop and supply movements from 
a central point, it would be unwise to de- 
centralize to the San Francisco committee 
any of the functions then being performed 
in Washington. Following a conference be- 
tween General Somervell and Admiral 
Home, and after modifications had been 
made in the text of the agreement to meet 

13 ' J Draft of Memo prepared by Navy, 19 Nov 
43, sub: Pacific Coast Joint Committee for 
Shipping, Shipbuilding and Repair, OCT HB Gross 
Pacific Coast Joint Committee. For developments 
in Navy's logistical organization see Ballantine, 
U.S. Naval Logistics, pp. 208-15. 

'"Memo, CG ASF for VCNO (Home), 15 Dec 
43; Memo, VCNO for CG ASF, 23 Dec 43; Memo, 
CG ASF for VCNO, 28 Dec 43; Memo, C of 
Water Div OCT for CofT, 8 Feb 44; Memo, DC 
of Traf Contl Div for CofT, 8 Feb 44. All in OCT 
HB Gross Pacific Coast Joint Committee. See also 
Tel Conv, ACofT and CG SFPE, 20 Apr 44, and 
Memo, CG SFPE for CofT, 24 Apr 44, OCT 370.5 
POA (Geog file, 2d Sec). 

the Army's objections, signatures were 
affixed in February 1944. 141 

The difficulties encountered in the 
negotiation of this agreement reflected the 
basic difference between the Army and 
Navy logistic systems, the former being 
based on centralized control while the latter 
was relatively decentralized. The agreement 
made clear that the duties of the San Fran- 
cisco joint operations committee were not 
being extended. 112 It provided that "similar 
committees with the same functions" should 
be set up at Los Angeles and Seattle. It 
stated that the Army port commanders 
would act independently with respect to 
ship operations in order that they might "be 
more responsive to the daily control ex- 
ercised by Washington over the integrated 
movements of troops and supplies from 
origin to destination." 

Despite the limitation placed on their 
authority relating to ship operations, the 
west coast joint committees performed a 
useful function in connection with the 
movement of troops and supplies to the 
Pacific. Their role in regard to the ad- 
ministration of priorities and the utilization 
of port facilities was an important one. The 
San Francisco committee, which had the 
central role, included the commandant of 
the Twelfth Naval District (later the Pacific 
Coast Coordinator of Naval Logistics), who 

Memo, CG ASF for VCNO, 1 1 Feb 44, and 
agreement signed 12 Feb 44, OCT HB Gross 
Pacific Coast Joint Committee. 

li2 Members of this committee also served on 
Pacific Coast Joint Committee for Shipbuilding and 
Ship Repair. For functions of committees and 
their working subcommittees see chart prepared 
by SFPE, 7 Aug 43, and Ltr, CG SFPE to CofT, 
8 Oct 45, OCT HB Topic Port Co-ordination. For 
minutes of meetings see OCT 334 Joint Army- 
Navy-WSA Opns Com. 



acted as chairman, the commander of the 
Army port of embarkation, and the west 
coast representative of the War Shipping 

The distribution of allocated cargo ship- 
ping for use in the Pacific was a matter 
of continuous concern to the Chief of 
Transportation. 143 From the beginning the 
Navy was believed to be maintaining ex- 
cessive standards in the operation of its 
oversea bases, particularly in the extent and 
character of the construction work, which 
made its demands upon shipping unneces- 
sarily heavy. In the spring of 1944 General 
Gross presented computations relating to 
the several Pacific areas, from which he 
deduced that on the average each Army 
cargo sailing was supporting twice as many 
men as a Navy cargo sailing. In working 
out the monthly allocations of ships in 
Washington it was found that the estimated 
requirements submitted by the Navy's west 
coast representative were not closely calcu- 

Another problem from the Army stand- 
point arose from the fact that the vast 
Pacific Ocean Areas, embracing what were 
known in the early part of the war as the 
Central Pacific and the South Pacific, were 
under a Navy commander, and all WSA 
allocations of cargo vessels for operation 
west of Hawaii were made to the Navy. The 
Chief of Transportation considered his lack 
of control over the ships moving supplies to 

143 Memo, CG SOS for CofS USA, 4 Dec 42 
(approx), sub: Trans Requirements Pacific 
Theater, G-4/561; Joint Memo, Lt Col A. W. 
Parry and Lt Col R. G. Lehnau for Gen Robinson 
Contl Div ASF, 12 May 43, par. 5c, sub: Rpt on 
Insp Trip, OCT HB Gross Pacific Theater; Memo, 
CofT for Gen Wood Pins and Opns Div ASF, 9 
Mar 44, OCT HB Gross Pacific Theater; Opns Mtg 
OCT, 14 May 44, sub: West Coast-Navy, OCT 
HB Opns Council Mtgs. 

Army forces in that area a handicap. 144 
Lack of information concerning ship move- 
ments and port activities in POA also was 
a source of inconvenience, not only in 
Washington but also to the Army command 
in the Southwest Pacific to which some of 
the vessels were destined. 14 " The shipping 
situation in POA was given careful con- 
sideration by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 
the Joint Military Transportation Com- 
mittee during the greater part of 1944. The 
resultant agreement, however, did not sub- 
stantially alter the Army's position, since 
it provided for the continued allocation of 
cargo ships to the theater commander, who 
was to reallocate them to the Army, the 
Navy, and the subarea commanders "in 
accordance with the requirements of the 
overall military situation." w 

Although the Army was given strong 
representation on the POA logistics staff, 
the plan of ship allocation for that area 
never was considered a satisfactory one by 
the Chief of Transportation, who as late 
as May 1945 remarked that while the plan 
had "functioned" it had not done so with- 

141 Memo, Deputy Dir of Opns OCT for CofT, 
31 Oct 44, OCT HB Wylie Supply and Shipping in 
Pacific 1944^5; Memo, CofT for CG ASF, 14 
Nov 44, sub: JCS 1087/5, OCT HB Gross Joint 
Army-Navy Trans. 

ltr 'Mcmo, C of Mvmts Div OCT for Dir of 
Opns (Wylie), 15 Nov 44, OCT HB Mvmts Div 
Gen; Memo, C of Ship Contl Br Contl Div OCT 
for Deputy Dir of Opns (Meyer), 21 Nov 44, 
OCT HB Wylie Supply and Shipping in Pacific 
1 944—45 ; Ltrs, CofT to Maj Gen Edmond Leavey 
ACofS for Logistics POA, 24 Oct and 25 Nov 44, 
■OCT HB Gross Pacific Theater. 

14(! Memo, C INC POA for CNO, 20 Oct 44, sub: 
Centralization of Contl of Cargo Shipping in POA 
OCT HB Meyer Staybacks; Memo, Deputy Dir 
of Opns for CofT, 31 Oct 44, sub same, OCT HB 
Meyer Staybacks; Memo, CG ASF for CofS USA, 
11 Dec 44, sub: Procedure for Allocation and 
Contl of Cargo Shipping in POA, OCT 565.2 
POA ; JCS Policy Memo 8, 26 Dec 44. 



out "anguish to the Army." 147 General 
Gross believed that the only way he could 
be sure of fulfilling his responsibility for 
supplying the Army forces in POA was to 
have control of the ships which transported 
the supplies. 

During the spring of 1945, in anticipa- 
tion of the surrender of the German forces 
and the intensification of the war against 
Japan, the Navy proposed that a joint con- 
ference be held to discuss supply and ship- 
ping problems in the Pacific. 148 The 
designation of General Douglas MacArthur 
as commander of all Army forces in the 
Pacific (CINCAFPAC) and Admiral 
Chester W. Nimitz as commander of all 
Navy forces in the Pacific (CINCPAC) 
presented a new command set-up which 
necessitated new arrangements in regard to 
ocean transportation. In addition to repre- 
sentatives of the Navy Department, the 
Army Service Forces, and the Army Air 
Forces, representatives of the land, sea, and 
air commands in the Pacific were invited to 
the conference. The discussions were held 
in Washington, 1—5 May 1945, under the 
chairmanship of Admiral Royal E. Inger- 
soll, Commander, Western Sea Frontier. 
According to a report filed with the Assist- 
ant Chief of Staff, G— 4, agreement was 

147 3d Mtg, Army-Navy Supply and Shipping 
Conf, 1-5 May 45, p. 69, files of Plans and Policy 
Group, P&O Div, GS USA, ABC 337 ( 1 May 45). 
For fuller discussion of shipping arrangements in 
POA see Col David H. Blakelock, Notes for Lecture 
on Joint Overseas Trans Problems, 27 Jan 47, OCT 
HB Topic Army-Navy Joint Oversea Trans Prob- 

148 JCS 1259/4, 3 Apr 45, sub: Command and 
Operational Directives for the Pacific; Memo, 
ACofS ASF for CG ASF, 10 Apr 45, sub: Study 
of Supply and Shipping Problems Relative to 
Support of Pacific War: Memo, CNO for CG AAF, 
17 Apr 45. Last two in G-4/400.22, Vol. II. 

reached on all matters except the control 
of shipping. 149 

The Navy plan presented at the confer- 
ence was that all shipping matters should 
be dealt with by a joint organization to be 
established by General MacArthur and 
Admiral Nimitz. The Army, recalling its 
unsatisfactory experience in the Pacific 
Ocean Areas where a joint logistics staff 
had existed, contended that such an ar- 
rangement would be unduly cumbersome 
and slow. The Chief of Transportation and 
other Army representatives at the confer- 
ence proposed that the Army and the Navy- 
commands in the Pacific make their ship- 
ping arrangements separately — which it 
was believed would be more satisfactory and 
entirely practical in most instances — and 
that joint control be established only when 
the exigencies of joint operations or other 
circumstances rendered such control neces- 
sary. 13 " The discussion brought out the fact 
that the Seventh Fleet, serving in the South- 
west Pacific under an Army commander, 
had had complete independence in logisti- 
cal matters until early 1945, and that after- 
ward the Army commander had reviewed 
the Seventh Fleet requests for supplies in 
the light of the over-all capacity of the 
ports but had not undertaken to control its 
shipping operations. By way of contrast, it 
was stated that shipping for the supply of 
Army forces in POA west of Hawaii had 
been completely under Navy control. The 
conference ended without either service 
modifying its position on the point at issue. 

Early in June the Navy placed the 
question of control of shipping in the Pacific 

149 Memo, C of Policy Br G-4 USA, 7 May 45, 
G-4/400.22, Vol. II. 

1 >n Army-Navy Supply and Shipping Conf, 1-5 
May 1945, esp. pp. 66-80 of 3d mtg and pp. 8-13 
of 4th mtg, files of Plans and Policy Group, P&O 
Div, GS USA, ABC 337 (1 May 45).' 



formally before the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 151 
It recommended that C INC AFP AC and 
CINCPAC be directed to set up a joint 
agency for the co-ordination and control of 
all merchant-type shipping except assault 
craft. A meeting between CINCAFPAC 
and CINCPAC had been held on Guam, 
1—4 June 1945, during which the shipping 
problem had been discussed and estimates 
of shipping requirements to February 1946 

151 JCS 1286/6, 5 Jun 45, sub: Joint Agency for 
Co-ordination of Shipping within Pacific. 

had been prepared. 152 The Army Chief of 
Staff requested the opinion of CINCAFPAC 
with regard to the joint agency recom- 
mended by the Navy, and was informed by 
General MacArthur that he was opposed 
to the arrangement since it would deprive 
the Army of control of the shipping serving 

132 Rad, CINCPOA Adv Hq for COMINCH, 
CM-IN 5530, 6 Jun 45. CofT found the estimates 
inadequate and requested more information ; see 
Rad, OPD to CG AFPAC Manila, CM-OUT 
13186, 7 Jun 45. 

Table 4 — Employment or Ocean-Going Passenger and Dry-Cargo Shipping 
Under U.S. Control on Selected Dates: 1943— 1945 a 

(Thousand Deadweight Tons) 


1 Jan 43 

1 Jan 44 

1 Jan 45 


U.S. Army. 

U.S. Army Owned & Chartered. 
WSA Allocations to U.S. Army. 

U.S. Navy. 






U.S. Navy Owned & Chartered 

WSA Allocations to U.S. Navy 1,153 

Other U.S. Traffic. 

Allocated to U.S. Lend-Lease. 
Allocated to Civilian Needs. . 

Foreign Control. 

Lend-Leased to British. 
Lend-Leased to USSR. . 

Under Repair or Laid-up. 


























a Includes merchant-type vessels of 1000 gross tons or more. Naval auxiliaries are excluded, but merchant-type vessels 
converted to assault vessels (AKA's and APA's) are included. WSA allocations are shown according to allocations for 
outbound voyages. 

Source: WSA Shipping Summary, September 1945, p. 38. 



its forces. 153 While he recognized the need 
for Army-Navy co-operation, General Mac- 
Arthur favored separate shipping responsi- 
bilities; he recommended that his intra- 
theater shipping requirements be submitted 
directly to the War Department and that 
vessels to meet those requirements be allo- 
cated to him and be operated under his 
control. The Navy proposal had not been 
acted on by the Joint Chiefs of Staff when 
hostilities ended. 154 

The intricacy of the problems involved 
in the exercise of centralized control over 
the employment of U.S. shipping, as well as 
the Army's interest in the proper solution of 
these problems, are best understood when 
the volume and distribution of such ship- 

ping are visualized. Table 4 shows the dis 

position, according to outbound allocations, 
of the ocean-going passenger and dry cargo 
vessels under U.S. control at the beginning 
of 1943, 1944, and 1945, and in mid-1945. 
As of 1 January 1945, when the campaign 
against Germany was at its height, out of 
a total of 36,022,000 deadweight tons, 
17,330,000 tons (48.1 percent) were at 
the disposal of the Army, and 8,016,000 
tons (22.3 percent) were at the disposal of 
the Navy. Six months later, with Germany 
defeated and the concentration of strength 
in the Pacific well begun, the Army's per- 
centage had shrunk and the Navy's had 
increased. The latter fact, however, must 
be interpreted in the light of the arrange- 
ment under which vessels for both Army 
and Navy use in the Pacific Ocean Areas 

153 Rad, Marshall to MacArthur, CM-OUT 
12523, 6 Jun 45; Rad, MacArthur to Marshall, 
CM-IN 11431, 12 Jun 45. 

154 Memo, Secy JCS for the chiefs individually, 
22 Aug 45, listed the Navy proposal (JCS 1286/6) 
among items removed from JCS Agenda, files of 
Plans and Policy Group, P&O Div, GS USA, ABC 
381 United Nations, 23 Jan 42, Sec 3-D. 

were allocated to the Navy. In other words, 
the shift of allocations from the Army to the 
Navy does not imply a corresponding 
change in the actual utilization of shipping. 

Tankers are not included in |1 able T\ Bulk 
shipments of petroleum products to meet 
the Army's oversea requirements were trans- 
ported by the Navy. On 1 July 1945, out 
of a total of 14,582,000 deadweight tons of 
ocean-going tank vessels in the service of the 
United States, 9,143,000 deadweight tons, 
or 62.7 percent, were owned or chartered by 
the Navy or were allocated to the Navy by 
the War Shipping Administration. 155 

Co-ordination of Port Utilization 

During the first year of the war in Europe 
it was foreseen that the port facilities of the 
United States, while generally well devel- 
oped and probably adequate for the na- 
tional need if the United States should enter 
the war, would have to be conserved and 
utilized with care if their potential ade- 
quacy was to be realized. 156 The problem 
was twofold. First, there was the matter of 
preventing piers and warehouses, which 
were suitable for handling the export traffic 
flow, from being used for storage, repair 
work, or other nontransportation purposes. 
Second, there was the matter of distribut- 
ing the traffic among as many ports as prac- 
ticable so as to avoid some being neglected, 
with resulting diversion of their water-front 
facilities and longshore labor to other em- 

155 WSA Shipping Summary, September 1945, 
pp. 148, 154; Conv, author with Mar Com repre- 
sentative, 12 Nov 47, sub: Allocation of Tanker 
Tonnage, OCT HB Topic Mar Com Opns. Total 
figure for tankers does not include those lend- 
leased to other countries for their operation. 

158 The Atlantic ports were the chief concern at 
that time; the possibility of war in the Pacific was 
not so strongly felt. 



ployment, while a few were being over- 

Early in 1941 concern over the prospect 
of deepwater steamship terminal facilities 
being improperly used was expressed by the 
Board of State Harbor Commissioners at 
San Francisco and the Traffic Advisory 
Committee of the Maritime Association of 
the Port of New York, 1 " The latter organ- 
ization referred to rumors that the Navy 
wanted to obtain exclusive occupancy of 
the Bayonne (N.J.) Terminal, which cur- 
rently was being used for loading ships with 
explosives and was the most suitably located 
pier in the harbor for that purpose; it felt 
that the Navy's oversea traffic did not war- 
rant its acquisition of the installation. Other 
piers in New York harbor, including the 
Army base in Brooklyn, were cited as not 
being used fully for loading and discharg- 
ing steamships. Both organizations sug- 
gested that the Transportation Commis- 
sioner, Advisory Commission to the Council 
of National Defense, set up a plan of co- 
ordination and control. At about that time 
a representative of the Port of New York 
Authority visited the several interested 
agencies in Washington with a view to 
stimulating interest in this subject. 158 It was 
recognized that since the Army, the Navy, 
and other federal agencies were concerned, 
effective control could not be exercised by 
local committees or municipal authorities. 

The Army, with its shipping operations 
rapidly expanding, was fully cognizant of 
this problem, and when opportunity afford- 
ed it registered opposition to proposals which 

137 Ltr, Pres of Bd to QMG, 4 Feb 41, AG 612 
(2-4-41) ( 1 ) Co-ordination of Port Facilities; Ltr, 
Chm of Com to Mgr Port Traf AAR Washington, 
10 Feb 41, OCT HB Topic Port Co-ordination. 

158 Conv, Chm Trans Adv Group OQMG and 
Asst Gen Mgr PofNYA, 28 Feb 41, OCT HB Topic 

it believed would result in the improper use 
of specific port facilities. 159 The Assistant 
Secretary of War and The Quartermaster 
General favored the early establishment of 
a central co-ordinating authority. 1 '' In 
April 1941 the Transportation Commis- 
sioner met with representatives of the in- 
terested government and private agencies 
for a discussion of the subject. It was pro- 
posed that he and the chairman of the 
Maritime Commission undertake to work 
out a solution, but nothing came of the 
proposal since neither had authority to take 
plenary action. 161 In June the Army was 
spurred to further efforts by information 
that the Navy had acquired the Bayonne 
terminal and that the facility soon would 
become unavailable for ships loading Army 
or lend-lease ammunition. The Army rec- 
ommended to the Navy that thereafter each 
department, before taking final action in 
such a matter, obtain clearance through the 
Army and Navy Munitions Board. The 
Navy agreed, but appropriate directives 
were not issued at once. 182 This was done 

159 Memo, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 23 Jan 41, sub: 
Allocation to Navy of Piers 96 and 98 Philadel- 
phia, G-4/29901-20; Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 
for ACofS G-4, 17 Apr 41, sub: Lease of Hoboken 
Terminal, OCT HB Gross Day File; Memo, JB for 
JPC, 6 Mar 41, sub: Proposed Sale or Lease of 
Hoboken Terminal, and Rpt, JPC to JB, 31 Mar 
41, JB 356 (Ser 679), OCT HB Topic NY (Port 
of) Hoboken Terminal. 

160 Memo, Dir Ping Br OASW for Trans Com- 
missioner (Budd), 16 Oct 40, G-4/31852-1; 
Memo, QMG for ACofS G-4, 12 Mar 41, AG 612 
(2-4-41 ) ( 1 ) Co-ordination of Port Facilities. 

191 Memo for record, Deputy Trans Com, 2 May 
41, sub: Mtg of Port Com; Memo, Chm Trans Adv 
Group OQMG for C of Trans Div OQMG 
(Wardlow for Dillon), 8 Aug 41, sub: Co-ordina- 
tion in Use of Port Facilities. Both in OCT HB 
Topic Port Co-ordination. 

162 Memo, C of Contributory Div OUSW for 
Exec Secy AN MB, 20 Aug 41 ; Ltr, Chm Mar Com 
to USW, 6 Oct 41 ; Ltr, USW to Chm Mar Com, 
23 Oct 41. All in OCT HB Topic ANMB. 



some months later, after the chairman of 
the Maritime Commission had urged that 
such a plan be placed in effect so that com- 
mercial interests as well as the armed serv- 
ices would be assured of proper considera- 

The Ocean Shipping Section of the Army 
and Navy Munitions Board, which was 
designated to deal with such matters, ini- 
tially consisted of representatives of the 
Under Secretary of War, the Under Secre- 
tary of the Navy, and the chairman of the 
Maritime Commission. During the early 
months of the war a number of changes 
were made in the membership of the Sec- 
tion. The representative of the Maritime 
Commission became the representative of 
the newly created War Shipping Adminis- 
tration. A representative of the Chief of 
Transportation replaced the representative 
of the Under Secretary as the Army mem- 
ber. A representative of the Office of De- 
fense Transportation was added. 163 

Soon after our entry into the war Gen- 
eral Somervell, then G— 4, instructed all 
elements of the Army that, in order to in- 
sure that port facilities were used for their 
primary purpose, the transshipment of per- 
sonnel and supplies overseas, all requests for 
authority to acquire such facilities should 
be submitted to his office for staff action 
and clearance with the Munitions Board. 
After the creation of a Chief of Transporta- 
tion the instructions were changed to pro- 
vide that requests be filed with him. 164 

General Gross took a keen interest in the 
matter. During the early part of the emer- 

1(53 Ltr, USW to Chm Mar Com, 23 Oct 41; 
Memos, Secy ANMB for Divs of ANMB, 16 and 
23 Apr 42. All in OCT HB Topic ANMB. 

1M Merno, ACofS G-4 for TAG, 29 Jan 42, 
G-4/33618-3; Memo, CG SOS for TAG, 21 Apr 
42, AG 612 (1-7-42) (1) Clearance of Proposals 
for Taking Over Port Terminal Facilities. 

gency the Air Forces and the Corps of En- 
gineers had acquired piers for the storage 
and assembling of their materiel. Gross be- 
lieved that these piers should have been 
kept free for use as oversea shipping ter- 
minals, and he was anxious that additional 
piers should not be tied up in this manner. 

During the spring of 1942 the Army com- 
plained that the representative of the War 
Shipping Administration on the Ocean 
Shipping Section was withholding approval 
of requests for facilities which were con- 
sidered essential to the Army's oversea op- 
erations. 1 '" The explanation given for this 
withholding was that facilities once under 
the control of the Army or the Navy were 
used exclusively for their operations and no 
longer were available for handling lend- 
lease and commercial cargoes, for which 
WSA was responsible. WSA also com- 
plained that the Army had taken over 
water-front facilities without prior clearance 
by the Ocean Shipping Section, and the 
Army admitted that this was true of several 
terminals for which clearance had been re- 
quested but not obtained because of WSA 
opposition. Later, when better understand- 
ing and closer co-ordination had been 
worked out between the Army, the Navy, 
and WSA, agreement in regard to such mat- 
ters was more readily achieved. In the 
spring of 1944 the Chief of Transportation 
took the position that further leasing of 
piers and transit sheds for the exclusive use 
of either service was not desirable, since by 

165 Memo within OCofEngrs (Meier for O'Brien) , 
7 May 42, OCT HB Topic ANMB; Memo, alter- 
nate Army member of OSS ANMB (McCoubrcy) 
for CofS SOS, 12 May 42, OCT HB Topic ANMB; 
Memos, Opns Off OCT for CofT, 5 and 7 Jun 
42; Ltr, Opns Off OCT to WSA, 8 Jun 42. Last 
two in OCT HB Wylie WSA. The WSA attitude 
was in harmony with its plan to relieve the Army 
of the loading of WSA vessels allocated to it, 
which will be discussed in the next chapter. 



then both had increased their terminal facil- 
ities considerably and it had been estab- 
lished that commercial piers could be used 
for military shipments in emergencies. 1 ' 1 " 

The matter of avoiding a concentration 
of export freight traffic at a few large ports 
required constant attention. It was natural 
that the Army should tend to utilize to ca- 
pacity the ports where it already had well- 
equipped installations and experienced or- 
ganizations, since that procedure was con- 
ducive to both efficiency and economy. The 
same argument applied to lend-lease and 
Navy supply operations. Nevertheless it was 
recognized that there was danger of over- 
concentration and that the use of all major 
ports would become a necessity as the war 
progressed. The Ocean Traffic Branch of 
the Chief of Transportation's Water Divi- 
sion kept the question of distributing the 
Army's cargo operations constantly alive. 1 " 7 
General Gross registered strong opposition 
to a suggestion from G— 4 that the New Or- 
leans Port of Embarkation might be aban- 
doned and its functions transferred to other 

In the spring of 1944, when the port situ- 
ation was becoming acute, intensive study 
of the problem was undertaken bv a number 
of agencies. The Stevedoring and Ship Fa- 

16,3 Memo, CofT for CG NYPE, 24 Apr 44, sub: 
Additional Pier Requisitions, OCT HB Wylie Stay- 
barks ; Comments of OCT on Report of Pacific 
Coast Coordinator of Naval Logistics, May 44, pp. 
8, 10, OCT HB Topic Port Capacity and Utiliza- 
tion; 1st Ind, CofT for CG ASF, 23 Aug 44, OCT 
HB Wylie Port Capacity Studies. 

107 Memo, CofOTB for C of Water Div (Frank- 
lin!, 27 Nov 42, OCT 563.5 (1942); Memo, 
CofOTB for ACofT for Opns, 22 Oct 43, sub: 
Projected Shipments through PE, OCT 563.5 
(1943) ; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CG ASF, 3 Mar 
44, sub: New Orleans Port of Embarkation: Memo, 
CofT for Gen Somervell, 20 Apr 44, sub: U.S. 
Port Capacities. Last two in OCT HB Wylie Port 
Capacity Studies. 

cilities Branch of the Water Division pre- 
pared monthly estimates of the current and 
potential capacities of the ports for han- 
dling general cargo and ammunition, based 
on available facilities and labor supply. 168 
The joint operations committee at San 
Francisco maintained a subcommittee to 
give this subject particular attention. A Port 
Utilization Committee, established in Wash- 
ington under War Shipping Administration 
sponsorship and consisting of representatives 
of WSA, the Army, the Navy, and the 
Office of Defense Transportation, kept the 
situation on all seaboards under observa- 
tion, making use of information submitted 
by joint committees at the ports and by 
numerous agencies in Washington. 109 The 
formation of this committee satisfied a re- 
quest which ODT had made for participa- 
tion with the other agencies in keeping the 
port situation under control — a participa- 
tion to which ODT considered itself entitled 
in view of its responsibility for inland and 
coastwise transportation. 17 " The Joint Mili- 
tary Transportation Committee delved into 
the problem from time to time, 

The question of port capacity and uti- 
lization was a particularly vital one during 
the latter stages of the war in relation to 
the Pacific coast. There it was not alone a 

1W Random copies in OCT HB Topic Port 
Capacities and Utilization and in OCT HB Wylie 
Port Capacity Studies. 

1GU WSA Adm Order 57, 16 Feb 44, OCT HB 
Topic Port Capacity and Utilization; Ltr, ACofT 
for CG SFPE, 26 Jul 44, sub: Assignment of 
Shipping, OCT 563.51 West Coast; 2d Mtg, 
Army-Navy Supply and Shipping Conf, 1-5 May 
45, p. 10: two Ltrs, WSA member of Port 
L'tilization Com to Army and Navy members, 7 
Mar 45, OCT HB Topic Port Capacity and 

17(1 Ltr, USW to ODT, 7 Nov 43; Ltr, ODT to 
USW, USN, WSA jointly, 24 Mar 44; Ltr, USW 
to ODT, 29 Mar 44. All in OCT HB Topic Port 
Capacity and Utilization. 



question of piers and warehouses. The 
ability of the railroads to move the vast 
quantities of supplies required for the war 
against Japan into and through the ports 
was a matter of concern, despite the meas- 
ures taken by the railroads and the Army 
to increase facilities. Labor supply also was 
a factor which demanded constant con- 
sideration, but the Army had anticipated 
this problem and was prepared to use 
Transportation Corps port companies to 
supplement civilian labor to the extent 
necessary. 1 ' 1 

The Chief of Transportation had ac- 
cepted the conclusion that a portion of the 
military freight destined to the Pacific 
would have to be loaded at Gulf and At- 
lantic ports, but he planned to use eastern 
ports only to the extent necessary after west 
coast ports had been used to capacity. In 
preparing advance loading plans to this end 
he came into conflict with the War Ship- 
ping Administration, which apparently had 
a lower estimate of west coast capability 
than that which the Transportation Corps 
had worked out and which favored more 
east coast loadings because the ships were 
becoming available there in greater num- 
bers. 172 In General Gross's office it was felt 
that the WSA view with regard to Pacific 
coast loading was colored by the constant 
threat of congestion at San Francisco and 
that the San Francisco situation was due, in 
part at least, to failure of the joint commit- 
tee at that port to plan for loading more 
ships at Los Angeles and Seattle sufficiently 

171 OCT Comments on Report of Pacific Coast 
Coordinator of Naval Logistics, May 44, pp. 14, 
17, 18, OCT HB Topic Port Capacity and Utiliza- 

172 Memo, C of Ping Div OCT for ACofT for 
Opns (Wylie), 20 May 45, sub: West Coast 
Shipping Position ; Memo for record by ACofT for 
Opns, 27 May 45. Both in OCT HB Topic Port 
Capacity and Utilization. 

in advance of the loading dates to enable 
the Army and the Navy to divert the re- 
quired quantities of cargo into those ports. 

The west coast port situation was ren- 
dered more difficult by the growing quantity 
of lend-lease freight shipped across the 
Pacific to the USSR. That service employed 
Soviet vessels and Liberty ships which had 
been transferred to the Soviet flag under 
lend-lease arrangements. In view of the 
heavy Army and Navy operations at San 
Francisco, the joint committee for opera- 
tions endeavored to confine the Soviet traffic 
as much as possible to the northwest ports. 17 1 
Portland, Oreg., was the principal loading 
point for ships in that service, which utilized 
the facilities of the Army subport of em- 
barkation. The Army and the Navy moved 
relatively little traffic through Portland, in 
accordance with a directive of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff that Soviet vessels be given 
preferential use of that port. 174 When the 
USSR representatives complained to the 
President's Soviet Protocol Committee re- 
garding the slowness of the loading opera- 
tion at Portland, the Army pointed out that 
the irregularity of the sailings had caused 
much longshore labor to drift away but that 
the larger part of the available labor was 
being employed in loading Soviet vessels. It 
indicated also that a contributing factor in 
the delay was the failure of the local Soviet 
agent to decide sufficiently in advance what 
cargo was to be loaded on specific ships. 

In addition to the above-mentioned prob- 
lems of properly utilizing port facilities and 

173 JMTC 38th Mtg, 30 Apr 43, Item 1 ; JMTC 
39th Mtg, 31 May 43, Item 4. 

174 Ltr, ACofT for Acting Exec, the President's 
Soviet Protocol Committee, 5 Jul 44, AG 563.5 
West Coast. Brig Gen R. H. Wylie, ACofT, rep- 
resented the CofT on this committee, which was 
concerned with supplying and moving materiel to 
USSR in accordance with the President's commit- 



avoiding the overconcentration of traffic, 
there were the problems of keeping the rate 
of freight movement to the seaboard com- 
mensurate with the capacity of the ships 
available, and preventing the accumulation 
of unnecessarily large "banks" of supplies 
at the ports as insurance against possible 
shortages of cargo. The Army, the Navy, 
the War Shipping Administration, and the 
Office of Defense Transportation, as well as 
the British Ministry of War Transport, were 
represented on the Transportation Control 
Committee, which was established in Wash- 
ington in March 1942 and charged with 
the responsibility of keeping the ports fluid. 
The results were very satisfactory. A de- 
tailed discussion of the methods and accom- 
plishments of that committee will be pre- 
sented in another volume of this history. 

While much was accomplished in the 
direction of improved port utilization 
through the co-operative efforts of the 
Army, the Navy, and the civilian agencies 
concerned with transportation, much more 
could have been accomplished by the actual 
consolidation of the port operations of the 
armed services. This point was developed 
in a detailed study prepared in the War 
Department soon after the termination of 
hostilities. 175 The Army and the Navy main- 
tained separate establishments at most of 
the larger ports for the transshipment of 
personnel and supplies and the performance 
of related functions. The elimination of this 
duplication, the study pointed out, would 
have reduced the total demand for piers, 
warehouses, administrative personnel, and 
longshore labor and at the same time would 

175 Memo prepared in OCT, 27 Nov 45, sub: 
Sec IV — Trans (Surface) Port Operation, OCT 
HB Topic Port Co-ordination; Report to the Sec- 
retary of War on Common Activities of the Army 
and Navy, 12 Dec 45, pp. 62-64, AG A49-212, 
RG 114. 

have lightened the problem of co-ordination 
in the over-all utilization of the ports and 
their facilities. As will be more fully ex- 
plained in the next chapter, the efforts for 
consolidation which were made during the 
war were without avail. The question of 
joint port operation was closely tied in with 
the question of joint vessel operation, and 
neither the Army nor the Navy was willing 
to accept the proposals made by the other 
to achieve that end. 

Co-ordination of Ship Repair and 

The demand for ship repairs and altera- 
tions at American yards expanded tremen- 
dously as the war progressed, and although 
the facilities were expanded there was al- 
ways a backlog of work on urgently needed 
vessels. This was a natural consequence of 
the increase in the number of merchant and 
naval vessels in service and the unusual 
hazards of wartime operation, but there 
were other contributing causes. The Army 
and the Navy required many special types 
of vessels — combat loaders, hospital ships, 
repair ships, airplane and tank transports, 
animal transports, to mention a few — which 
to a considerable extent were provided by 
altering existing bottoms. The heavy de- 
mand for troop transportation necessitated 
the conversion of many freight vessels to 
fit them for that purpose. Ships hastily built 
under war conditions were more likely to 
develop machinery trouble and structural 
weakness than were those constructed under 
the more favorable conditions of peacetime. 
Recently recruited crews were less adept 
than experienced seamen at preventive 
maintenance and the performance of small 
repair jobs in time to stop them from be- 
coming big ones. Repair facilities in many 
theaters of operation were wholly inade- 



quate and were susceptible of only limited 
enlargement; therefore much repair work 
needed while the ships were overseas was 
deferred until the vessels returned to United 
States ports. American yards were called 
upon to repair, convert, and arm many for- 
eign flag vessels, including those requisi- 
tioned by the United States and those op- 
erating in the American and British pools. 176 
The pressure upon the repair yards was 
heavy and unremitting. Getting vessels in 
serviceable condition so that they might sail 
with the convoys to which they were as- 
signed was a matter of utmost importance. 
One large concern which had yards on both 
Atlantic and Pacific coasts reported that its 
wartime activities had included the per- 
formance of 37,778 repair jobs on merchant 
and naval vessels ; another concern reported 
that it had performed more than 20,000 re- 
pair and conversion jobs. 177 The War Ship- 
ping Administration, which in May 1942 
took over from the Maritime Commission 
responsibility for supervising repairs on 
government-owned merchant vessels and on 
foreign vessels under lend-lease arrange- 
ments, handled 42,076 jobs, of which 
36,476 were on ships under the American 
flag and 5,600 on ships under foreign flags; 
about 100 repair yards throughout the 
United States were utilized for this work, 
and in addition about 230 other concerns 
performed specialized types of work in con- 
nection with maintenance, repairs, and 
conversions. 17S Ship repair work was in di- 

170 Mar Com Rpt for the period ending 30 Jun 
42, pp. 58, 59. 

177 "Shipyards Reveal Feats in Wartime," The 
New York Times, February 10, 1946; "Todd Yards 
Sped 21,000 Ships to War," The New York Times, 
February 24, 1946. 

178 Report of the War Shipping Administrator to 
the President, The United States Merchant Marine 
at War (Washington, January 15, 1946), pp. 

rect competition for facilities, materials, 
and labor with the shipbuilding program, 
and sometimes suffered by reason of the 
higher priority given to the construction of 
new vessels. 

In June 1941, in an effort to bring better 
order to the private ship repair industry and 
eliminate bottlenecks, the Maritime Com- 
mission established a Coordinator of Ship 
Repair and Conversion, with headquarters 
at New York. 17S The Navy, which relied 
upon private yards for a considerable 
amount of repair work, participated in the 
plan from the beginning, and the Army 
soon became a party to it. When a ship 
needing repair entered an American harbor 
the owner or operator, instead of placing an 
order with a yard of his own choice, filed 
with the co-ordinator an application for 
the use of repair facilities. The co-ordinator, 
who maintained complete information 
regarding the facilities, materials, and labor 
available at each repair yard, as well as the 
status of the work already in hand, indi- 
cated where the order should be placed so 
that the work might receive the promptest 
and most efficient attention. Participation 
of the Army and the Navy in this plan was 
voluntary, but private owners and operators 
of merchant vessels were required by WSA 
to obtain advance approval of the co- 
ordinator before contracting for work at 
waterside repair facilities. When the work 
did not involve waterside facilities, advance 
approval of the co-ordinator was not neces- 
sary, but it was required that he be notified 
regarding the work and its probable dura- 
tion within five days after the contract had 
been placed. All ship repair concerns were 

1Ty "U.S. Coordinates All Ship Repairs," The 
New York Times, June 27, 1941 ; Memo for record 
by Wardlovv, 31 Mar 43, sub: Co-ordinator of Ship 
Repairs; WSA GO 36, 5 Aug 43. Last two in OCT 
HB Topic Mar Com Ship Repairs. 



required to report to the co-ordinator weekly 
regarding work performed on a subcontract 
basis. The co-ordinator established branch 
offices on the Pacific coast and the Gulf to 
aid in the performance of his functions in 
those areas. 

The Army, the Navy, and the War Ship- 
ping Administration also joined efforts in 
developing a form of repair contract which 
would enable them to eliminate the usual 
delays in getting work started and at the 
same time protect the government's finan- 
cial interest. In peacetime the Army had 
let contracts for repair work on a fixed price 
basis. 180 That method presupposed ade- 
quate time for making surveys, writing spec- 
ifications, and obtaining competitive bids. 
During the war, despite the necessity of 
getting repair work started with the least 
possible delay, the preparation of specifica- 
tions and cost estimates could not keep up 
with the demand because competent per- 
sonnel were not available in sufficent num- 
ber. Moreover, since the yards were over- 
crowded with work, competitive bidding 
lost much of its effectiveness in keeping 
down charges. 

As a result of the joint efforts of the three 
agencies and with the aid of suggestions 
from the Comptroller General, a master 
ship repair contract was drawn up, which 
became effective 1 July 1943. 181 Under the 
new procedure, as soon as a repair yard had 
been designated by the co-ordinator, a 
representative of the yard and a government 
contracting officer inspected the vessel and 

180 Memo, SFPE for QMG, 18 Jul 41 ; Memo, 
QMG for SFPE, 20 Aug 41. Both in OCT 574 
Army Transports. 

181 Memo, Hist Rec of Army War Ship Repair 
Contract Agency, 30 Jun 44; Memo, sub: Explana- 
tion of Background and Opns of Master Ship Re- 
pair Contract; WD Contract Form TC 103 Ship 
Repair. All in OCT HB Water Div Ship Repair 
and Conv. 

prepared a job order for each item of re- 
pair. The order when executed by both 
parties was the contractor's authority to 
proceed with the work. The charges which 
he eventually submitted were based on an 
hourly average rate for all classes of direct 
labor negotiated on the basis of the con- 
tractor's recent experience, plus the cost of 
materials, facilities, and subcontracts and a 
reasonable percentage for profit. The con- 
tractor's accounts were open to government 
inspection and his charges were subject to 
revision when the profit on a job was found 
to be excessive. The principal fault found 
with the master ship repair contract was 
that it removed the incentive which the 
contractor had under a fixed price arrange- 
ment to obtain maximum output from his 
labor force, but the Army believed that this 
disadvantage was more than offset by bene- 
ficial features, particularly the acceleration 
of the work. 182 

The ship repair situation was especially 
critical on the Pacific coast, primarily be- 
cause a large part of the naval fleet was 
assigned to the Pacific and repair facilities 
at advance bases were either nonexistent or 
very inadequate. Collaboration in regard to 
ship repairs had been carried on between 
local representatives of the Army, the Navy, 
and the W ar Shipping Administration prior 
to the adoption of the Basic Logistical Plan 
by the armed services in March 1943, and 
thereafter it took on a more definite form. 
The Pacific Coast Joint Committee for 
Shipbuilding and Ship Repair which was 
then established included the commandant 
of the Twelfth Naval District (later the 
Pacific Coast Coordinator of Naval Logis- 
tics), the Commander, San Francisco Port 
of Embarkation, and the Pacific coast repre- 

182 See Ltr, 2d ZTO to Exec OCT, 4 Apr 44, 
OCT HB Water Div Ship Repair and Conv. 



sentatives of the War Shipping Administra- 
tion, the Maritime Commission, and the 
Coordinator of Ship Repair and Conver- 
sion. Its basic function was to allocate ships 
to private yards in accordance with the 
availability of facilities and labor and to 
determine priorities. The authority of the 
committee took precedence over that of the 
co-ordinator. 183 This main committee, 
which was located at San Francisco, was 
aided by subcommittees at Los Angeles, 
Seattle, and Portland. 181 Notwithstanding 
the good work done by these joint organiza- 
tions and the tapering off of shipbuilding 
activity in 1945, the west coast ship repair 
situation remained critical to the end of the 
war. 185 

Ordinarily a foreign government desiring 
to have its ships repaired in American yards 
submitted a request to the Foreign Eco- 
nomic Administration (Lend-Lease Ad- 
ministration ) . After determining that funds 
were available for the purpose, FEA for- 
warded the request to the War Shipping 
Administration, which decided whether the 
work could be undertaken in view of the 
situation at the yards. 186 Early in 1944, in 
connection with the proposed conversion of 
three British transports and five British 

193 Joint Memo, CNO, CG ASF, Administrator 
WSA, and Chm Mar Com for Pacific Coast Co- 
ordinator of Naval Logistics, etc., 12 Feb 44, sub: 
Pacific Coast Joint Committee for Shipbuilding and 
Repair, OCT 334 Pacific Coast Joint Committee. 

184 Memo, CG SFPE for CofT, 8 Oct 45, OCT 
HB Topic Port Co-ordination. 

185 "Shipbuilding Yard Layoffs to be Absorbed 
by Repair Unit," The Washington Post, February 7, 
1945; "Navy Wants 15,000 to Repair Vessels Dam- 
aged in Pacific," The New York Times, May 31, 
1945; Memo, Comdr WSF for SN, 7 Jun 45, sub: 
Ship Overhaul Load— West Coast, OCT HB Topic 
Navy; co-ordinator's list of ships under repair or 
conversion on Pacific coast, 19 Jul 45, OCT 564. 

18a Memo, Secy JCS for Maj Chapman, 2 Mar 
44, sub: Refitting and Conv of British Ships, CCS 
564 (1-14-44). 

armed merchant cruisers, this procedure 
broke down because the U.S. Navy objected 
to placing the additional burden on Ameri- 
can repair facilities. The Army recognized 
that there had not been wholly satisfactory 
co-ordination in this field on the east coast 
but believed that the work in question could 
be undertaken without prejudice to Navy 
repairs. 187 The Army Chief of Transporta- 
tion contended that in view of the great 
need for troop lift the basic question was 
whether the conversion of these vessels 
would require more or less time and expense 
than would be needed to provide equal 
troop lift by converting new vessels. 188 The 
Joint Military Transportation Committee, 
to which the matter was referred, recom- 
mended that the three transports be con- 
verted and that the armored merchant 
cruisers be surveyed by a joint committee to 
determine whether and to what extent con- 
version was warranted. 

Differences of opinion resulting from 
these surveys and consequent delays in dis- 
posing of the question led to the establish- 
ment of a high-level Joint Ship Repair and 
Conversion Policy Board, consisting of the 
Director of W ar Mobilization, who acted as 
chairman, the W ar Shipping Administrator, 
the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, and 
the Commanding General, Army Service 
Forces. 189 This board was assisted by a 
working committee composed of representa- 
tives of the member agencies, with the Co- 

1ST Memo, COMINCH for CofS USA, 31 Jan 44; 
Memo, CG ASF for CofS USA, 1 Feb 44; Memo, 
CofS USA for COMINCH, 3 Feb 44. All in OCT 
564 British Vessels. 

188 CMTC 79th Mtg, 14 Jan 44, Item 3; JMTC 
59th Mtg, 11 Feb 44; JCS 709, 14 Feb 44. 

189 JCS 709/1, 16 Feb 44; JCS 709/5, 6 Mar 44; 
JCS 709/6, 8 Mar 44; Memo, Dir of War Mob 
for CofS USA, CNO USN, and WSA, 25 Feb 44, 
OCT HB Exec Relations with OWM. 



ordinator of Ship Repair and Conversion 
acting in an advisory capacity. 

The close co-operation of the Army, the 
Navy, and the War Shipping Administra- 
tion in regard to ship repairs extended over- 
seas. In view of the large number of mer- 
chant vessels operating under WSA control 
and the congestion at domestic yards, the 
representatives of that agency at foreign 
ports did what they could to assure that 
ships which had been damaged on the 
outbound voyage or while abroad should 
obtain needed repairs before they returned 
to the United States. Stocks of materials and 
spare parts were assembled at the oversea 

ports, sometimes being salvaged from ships 
which had been damaged to the point where 
it was uneconomical to restore them to serv- 
ice. 100 Such materials were available for the 
repair of transports operated by the Army 
and the Navy. Navy dry docks and machine 
shops overseas were utilized on occasion for 
repairing merchant vessels. The Army con- 
verted and equipped a number of marine 
repair ships which were sent to oversea ports 
where shore facilities were inadequate or 
entirely lacking. 

11111 "WSA Describes Foreign Repair Problems," 
Journal of Commerce (New York), December 26, 


Relations with Other 
Ship-Operating Agencies 

A large percentage of the vessels utilized 
by the Army were operated by or under the 
control of other agencies. On 31 July 1945, 
for example, out of a total of 1,706 ocean- 
going vessels in the service of the Army, only 
186 were operated by the Army. 1 The re- 
mainder were operated by agents of the 
War Shipping Administration or by the 
U.S. Navy or were included in the pool of 
foreign vessels controlled by the British 
Ministry of War Transport. The mainte- 
nance of smooth working relations with 
these agencies was therefore an important 
aspect of the Army's transportation task. 

The total of 1,706 vessels in Army service 
at the end of July 1945 embraced all ves- 
sels of 1,000 gross tons or over which were 
carrying Army personnel to at least 50 per- 
cent of their passenger capacity, or were 
carrying at least 5,000 measurement tons of 
Army cargo. 2 This total included 261 vessels 
which were classified as troopships because 
they had permanent accommodations for 

1 AG 560 (3 Aug 45), 13 Aug 45, sub: Monthly 
List of U.S. Army Transports. 

2 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, 31 Jul 45, p. 66. Total of 
1,706 vessels in Army service was peak or near peak 
for war period. ASF Statistical Summary, World 
War II, p. 145, shows 1,765 vessels in Army service 
in December 1944. Due to new and more restrictive 
method of counting adopted early in 1945, it is 
doubtful whether figures are strictly comparable. 
For new basis of counting see Memo, Water Div for 
Con* Div OCT, 28 Mar 45, OCT HB Water Div 

500 or more troops, and 1,445 which were 
classified as cargo ships although some of 
them carried limited numbers of troops. 
This fleet provided 620,355 permanent 
troop spaces and had a total cargo capacity 
of 16,192,700 measurement tons. Seventeen 
of the troopships and 78 of the cargo ships 
were under foreign registry. 3 

Relations with the War Shipping 

The Army was dependent on the War 
Shipping Administration for vessels to carry 
the bulk of its oversea traffic, and during 
the winter of 1945 it was using almost 50 
percent of the dry cargo and passenger ship- 
ping controlled by that agency.' While a 
limited number of vessels was made avail- 
able to the Army by WSA under various 
forms of charter or on permanent alloca- 
tion, most of them were allocated for the 
voyage only and therefore were subject to 
reallocation when they returned to the 
United States. The WSA pool of cargo 
vessels had to meet demands from other 
sources, and in view of the almost continu- 

3 Statistical table, Water Div, Vessels in Army 
Service, 31 Jul 45, OCT HB Water Div Vessel 
Opns Analysis. 

4 Ltr, SW to Chm House Com on Merchanl 
Marine and Fisheries, 6 Mar 45, OCT HB Water 
Div Postwar Fleet ; WSA Shipping Summary, Sep 
45, p. 38. 



ous over-all shortage of shipping the ques- 
tion of priorities frequently was an acute 
one. Naturally there were many problems 
of policy and procedure to be worked out 
between the Chief of Transportation and 
WSA, in order that the Army might receive 
the numbers and types of vessels which it 
required at the places where they were 

The Army had concurred in the estab- 
lishment of an agency to control the em- 
ployment of U.S. shipping, but it had not 
visualized such broad authority in the hands 
of a civilian official as was given to the War 
Shipping Administrator. Military leaders 
recognized that an agency of this type was 
necessary to insure that American vessels 
were operated in the national interest and 
to facilitate collaboration with the British 
Ministry of War Transport in the effective 
utilization of all vessels under Allied control. 
But the Army officers most directly con- 
cerned believed that since military victory 
was the objective and shipping was essential 
to that victory, the military authorities 
should have the deciding voice in determin- 
ing what portion of the merchant marine 
was to be assigned to military uses. Other 
agencies and individuals had different 
views, however, and the end product varied 
considerably from the Army's conception. 

An understanding of the circumstances 
under which the War Shipping Administra- 
tion was created is aided by taking a quick 
look at the British Ministry of War Trans- 
port. During the early part of the war in 
Europe the control of British transportation 
was divided between two agencies; the 
Ministry of Transport, which had existed 
in peacetime, was responsible for inland 
transportation, and the Ministry of Ship- 
ping, which was established in September 
1939, was responsible for ocean transporta- 

tion. In May 1941 these hitherto independ- 
ent agencies were combined to form the 
Ministry of War Transport in an effort to 
achieve closer co-ordination between the 
inland carriers, the ports, and the steamship 
lines, and more efficient utilization of all. 5 
The Minister of War Transport, Lord 
Leathers, was responsible directly to the 
Prime Minister, and the means under his 
control had to be employed in the manner 
that would best meet both civilian and mili- 
tary requirements. 

Immediately after our entry into the war 
the President established the Office of De- 
fense Transportation, with authority over 
the rail, motor, and inland waterway car- 
riers, and in so doing departed from the 
British example of a single transportation 
agency. In creating the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration some weeks later the Chief 
Executive followed the British example of 
vesting a broad control over shipping in a 
civilian agency. In practice, however, WSA 
did not exercise as complete control over 
port operations and the loading of ships as 
did BMWT — a matter which will be pre- 
sented more fully hereafter. 6 

When it became apparent that the Stra- 
tegic Shipping Board, which President Roo- 
sevelt had established immediately after our 
entry into the war, would not be able to 
solve the problem of shipping allocations by 
agreement among the three agencies repre- 
sented in its membership — the Maritime 
Commission, the Navy, and the Army — a 
number of alternatives were put forward. 
A plan which originated in the Navy pro- 

" See Hancock and Gowing, British War Econ- 
omy, X, 1 20—35. 

" Keen interest of BMWT in establishment of 
corresponding U.S. agency is disclosed in State 
Dept Msg 744 from Amb John G. Winant (Harri- 
man for Land and Hopkins), 17 Feb 42, paraphrase 
in OCT 540 Gen. 



posed the establishment of a shipping co- 
ordinator with cabinet rank. That plan was 
not acceptable to the Army, which objected 
to placing the Army-owned transports and 
the Army ports of embarkation under the 
absolute control of such an official. 7 The 
Army proposed instead that a "central 
shipping administration" be established, 
with the chairman of the Maritime Com- 
mission as administrator, to function under 
the general supervision of a board consist- 
ing of the administrator and representatives 
of the Army, the Navy, and the Office of 
Production Management; that all trans- 
oceanic vessels, except those of the armed 
services, be pooled "under the exclusive 
direction" of the new agency; and that the 
central shipping administration "be guided 
by the decisions of the Army-Navy Joint 
Board with respect to the movement of 
troops and supplies for the Army and the 
Navy and in the allocation of the necessary 
shipping to initiate and maintain such mili- 
tary and naval operations as may be 
adopted." 8 

An informal expression of opinion by a 
representative of the Maritime Commission 
indicated that that office was favorably dis- 
posed toward the latter arrangement and 
also that it was willing to undertake the 
manning and operation of the vessels neces- 
sary to carry the troops and supplies of the 
Army, if called on to do so. 9 The Army and 
the Navy then agreed on a plan conforming 

7 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 28 Dec 41, 
sub : Admiral Turner's Proposed JB Action, 

fi Ltr, ACofS G-4 for Harry Hopkins, 31 Dec 41, 
inclosing draft of EO; Memo, CofS USA for Ad- 
miral Stark USN, 31 Dec 41, sub: EO Establish- 
ing Central Shipping Adm. Both in ASF Hq Ship- 
ping 1942-43. 

9 Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for ACofS G-4, 
1 Jan 42, sub: Opn of Water Trans, Trans Br 
G-4/560 Mar Com. 

to the Army's contention that ship alloca- 
tions should be in accordance with joint 
decisions of the armed services, and they 
submitted a draft of an executive order em- 
bodying that idea. 1 " Rear Adm. Emory S. 
Land, who was chairman of the Maritime 
Commission and slated to head the new 
agency also, objected to this subordination 
of his authority, and Mr. Harry Hopkins 
likewise opposed it on the ground that lend- 
lease might not receive sufficient considera- 
tion. The President supported these views 
and accordingly the final draft of the ex- 
ecutive order, which was prepared in the 
Bureau of the Budget, gave the War Ship- 
ping Administrator sole direction of the new 
agency and made him directly responsible 
to the President. 11 

The War Shipping Administrator's duties 
included control of the "operation, pur- 
chase, charter, requisition, and use" of all 
ocean-going vessels under the flag or control 
of the United States, except combatant 
vessels of the Army, the Navy, and the Coast 
Guard, fleet auxiliaries of the Navy, trans- 
ports owned by the Army and the Navy, 
and coastwise vessels controlled by the Office 
of Defense Transportation. He was charged 
with the allocation of vessels under his con- 
trol for use by the Army, the Navy, other 
federal departments and agencies, and the 
governments of the United Nations. He was 
directed to "comply with strategic military 
requirements" in allocating vessels, to col- 
laborate with existing military, naval, and 
civil departments and agencies of the gov- 
ernment in order to secure the most effective 
utilization of shipping in the prosecution of 
the war, and to be guided by schedules 
transmitted to him by the chairman of the 

10 Bureau of the Budget, The United States at 
War, pp. 149-50. 

11 EO 9054, 7 Feb 42. 



War Production Board prescribing the pri- 
orities of movement of cargoes essential 
to the war production effort and the civilian 
economy. Broadly speaking, the plan con- 
templated that WSA would concern itself 
with the utilization of vessels in service, 
while the Maritime Commission would 
devote its main effort to the construction of 
new tonnage. 12 

The War Shipping Administrator con- 
sidered it essential that the operating rela- 
tionships of his office with the transportation 
offices of the Army and the Navy, under the 
general terms of the executive order, should 
be defined in some detail. To that end he 
first worked out an understanding with the 
Navy and then approached the Army on 
the subject. 13 After about a month of negoti- 
ation, agreement was reached and a 
memorandum on interdepartmental rela- 
tionship was signed on 13 June 1942 by 
General Somervell on behalf of the Army 
and by Mr. Lewis W. Douglas, the Deputy 
Administrator, on behalf of WSA. 14 

The memorandum provided that the 
Army would operate its owned vessels, 
keeping the War Shipping Administration 
informed regarding their employment and 
making them available to WSA on the 
homeward voyage when military require- 
ments permitted. WSA troopships assigned 
to the Army were to be handled through 
existing operating organizations (WSA 

12 This intent was clarified by EO 9244, 16 Sep 
42, which expressly transferred certain functions 
from Mar Com to WSA. 

]3 Ltr, WSA to SW, 15 May 42, OCT HB 
Wylie WSA. 

14 Memorandum Covering the Interdepartmental 
Relationship Between the Army and the War Ship- 
ping Administration to Form a Basis for Full and 
Complete Cooperation in Connection with the Pur- 
chase, Charter, Use and Operation of Vessels and 
Terminal Facilities, transmitted with Ltr, Douglas 
to Somervell, 13 Jun 42, OCT HB Wylie WSA. 

754-915 0-64— 14 

agents) in accordance with existing charters, 
and their homeward employment was to be 
determined by WSA subject to the require- 
ments of the Army's troop movement 
schedule. WSA freighters were to be as- 
signed on a voyage basis; they were to be 
loaded outbound by the Army and revert 
to WSA upon completion of discharge at 
oversea ports. The memorandum provided 
that additional piers and terminals might 
be placed under the control of the Army 
when necessary to carry out strategic move- 
ments ; that Army terminals would be made 
available to WSA, and WSA terminals to 
the Army, when not needed by the control- 
ling agency; that when commercial ter- 
minal facilities were taken over by the Army 
it would, insofar as practicable, continue to 
use the same contracting stevedores and 
terminal operating personnel; and that the 
Army and WSA would confer regarding the 
purpose and the terms of occupancy in 
connection with the acquisition of piers and 
terminals by the Army. The memorandum 
further provided that except in emergencies 
WSA would be the sole contracting agent 
of the Army for the purchase, charter, or 
requisition of ocean-going vessels; that 
Army and WSA representatives in Wash- 
ington and at the ports would maintain 
close liaison in an effort to interchange 
cargo and obtain "full and down" load- 
ings ; and that the conversion and alteration 
of ships to fit them for Army use would be 
accomplished by WSA, or the Army, or by 
the two agencies jointly, as might be ar- 
ranged. In the last paragraph of the agree- 
ment each party foreswore any "intention 
or ambition" to absorb the functions of the 
other "by use of its requisition powers or 

This memorandum, together with some 
amplifications which were agreed on later, 



served as a guide in the successful operating 
relationships of the Army and the War 
Shipping Administration. It did not fore- 
stall, however, a heated controversy on a 
question which both sides considered of 
importance in its bearing on the perform- 
ance of their responsibilities. The question 
related to the loading of the large fleet of 
cargo vessels which WSA allocated to the 
Army. The Army had handled the loading 
of such vessels prior to the creation of WSA, 
and when the executive order establishing 
that agency was being formulated Colonel 
Gross suggested that the point be covered 
expressly. His suggestion was not followed, 
and Gross indicated later that he had not 
pressed the matter because he had been in- 
formed by a representative of the Maritime 
Commission that no change in the Army's 
authority in regard to loading ships was in- 
tended. 15 The Army continued to load air 
located vessels at its own terminals, but 
while the above-mentioned agreement on 
interdepartmental relationship was being 
formulated Gross learned that WSA was 
endeavoring to have this function trans- 
ferred to its own agents who operated the 
vessels. On 10 June 1942 the issue was 
placed before WSA in a frank communica- 
tion from General Somervell to Mr. 
Douglas. 10 Somervell remonstrated strongly 
against the attempt to "usurp" what he 
considered the proper functions of the Army 

10 Pencil Memo, Gross for Somervell, pars. 5 and 
6, 4 Jan 43, sub: Intent of EO of Feb 9 (7), 
1942, ASF Hq Shipping 1942-43. 

16 Memos, Opns Off OCT (Wylie) for GofT, 
5 and 7 Jun 42, sub: Contl of Ship Opn and 
Pier Facilities, OCT HB Wylie WSA; Memos, 
Gross for Somervell, 9 and 10 Jun 42, OCT 563.5 
Gen; Memo, Somervell for Douglas, 10 Jun 42, 
ASF Hq Shipping 1942-43. The WSA position 
had been foreshadowed in Ltr, Land to Somervell, 
4 Mar 42, par. 5, OCT HB Gross Day File. 

and the Navy. He said that the Army's 
methods of handling oversea movements 
and loading ships were the result of ex- 
perience during and since the last war and 
that no other interests could be permitted 
to interfere with the war effort. When ap- 
proved a few days later the memorandum 
on interdepartmental relationship included 
a clause which provided: "All freighters 
assigned to the Army shall be loaded by the 
Army Transport Service." 

The issue remained in the background for 
a period of about six months and then 
suddenly came to the fore again when a 
memorandum was received by the Secre- 
tary of War from the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration, transmitting a copy of a Presi- 
dential directive dated 18 December 1942, 
which dealt expressly with the subject." The 
directive, which was addressed to the Ad- 
ministrator, provided that WSA should 
handle the loading of all allocated vessels 
except those required for special task forces 
or assault forces, and fleet auxiliaries. This 
meant that the large fleet of allecated vessels 
which handled regular movements of mili- 
tary cargo to the theaters would be loaded 
at commercial piers by WSA agents. Secre- 
tary of War Henry L. Stimson, in ac- 
nowledging the memorandum to the Ad- 
ministrator, said he understood that the 
directive had been initiated by WSA. 18 He 
expressed surprise that a matter which so 
obviously affected the interests of the Army 
should have been advanced without any 
one in authority in the War Department 
having had an opportunity to state his views 
to the Bureau of the Budget or to the Presi- 

17 Ltr, WSA to SW, 18 Dec 42; Memo, the 
President for Admiral Land, 18 Dec 42. Both in 
OCT HB Exec Relationships with WSA. 

18 Ltr, 23 Dec 42, ASF Hq Shipping 1942-43. 



Several weeks prior to the signing of the 
Presidential directive, the Army, as the next 
section of this chapter will show, had pro- 
posed to the Navy the establishment of a 
joint transportation service and the placing 
of the War Shipping Administration vessels 
used by that service under naval operation. 
Whether the WSA action to gain control of 
the loading of such vessels was in the nature 
of a countermeasure is not apparent from 
the documents reviewed. 

Since the Army and the Navy were 
affected similarly by the new directive, the 
matter was placed before the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff. That body promptly arranged a 
meeting with the War Shipping Administra- 
tor and his deputy, in order that the intent 
of the directive and its effect on the armed 
services might be determined. 19 The Deputy 
Administrator, Mr. Douglas, who presented 
the WSA position, asserted that there no 
longer was a reservoir of shipping and that 
the shortage of vessels could be lessened by 
improving the operation of those available. 
He pointed out that the most economical 
use of ship space could be attained only by 
a proper mixture of weight and measure- 
ment cargo ( that is, a mixture of lend-lease 
and military cargoes, since the former was 
relatively compact and heavy and the latter 
was relatively bulky and light ) . He referred 
to the separate operations of the Army and 
the Navy in the Pacific, which he felt had 
not given the best possible utilization of 
ships and ship space. Mr. Douglas conceded 
that there were types of loading in con- 
nection with task forces which the armed 
services could handle best and disclaimed 
any intention of interfering with them. 
With regard to the large number of vessels 

19 Minutes, Mtg in Admiral Leahy's office, 28 
Dec 42, OCT HB Exec Relationships with WSA. 

which WSA allocated to the Army for the 
movement of maintenance supplies, he in- 
dicated that if WSA had "control" of the 
loading so as to insure economical utiliza- 
tion it would not attempt to take over the 
actual physical loading. He felt that in the 
past full co-operation had not been given 
by the armed services in the effort of WSA 
to avoid wasted cargo capacity. He agreed 
that it might have been better if the armed 
services had been consulted before the 
directive was issued, but he did not con- 
sider that procedure necessary since WSA 
derived its authority directly from the Presi- 

At this meeting, and in connection with 
a memorandum prepared in the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff for the President but not 
officially delivered, the views of the Army 
and the Navy with regard to the effect of 
the directive were presented at length. 20 It 
was pointed out that the ship-loading opera- 
tion was a link in the chain of military 
supply and that military control and co- 
ordination throughout the chain were neces- 
sary. Full utilization of cargo space was an 
ideal to be sought, but it had to be sacrificed 
at times in order to get supplies to the 
theaters in the most expeditious manner. 
Sometimes it was difficult to differentiate 
between supplies for task forces and so- 
called maintenance supplies. The loading of 
military cargoes by commercial operators 
would endanger the security of ship move- 
ments. Military ports of embarkation were 
set up to meet rapidly changing priorities 
and modifications in requisitions from over- 
sea commanders, which commercial ter- 
minal operators were not prepared to do. 

20 Incl A to proposed memo for the President, 26 
Dec 42, circulated by Secy JCS, OCT HB Exec 
Relationships with WSA. 



Military ports of embarkation had adequate 
storage facilities to hold in reserve sufficient 
quantities of a great variety of supplies to 
meet emergency requests from the theaters, 
which commercial terminal operators did 
not have. Military ports of embarkation 
were called on to distribute certain ship- 
ments over several vessels to minimize the 
danger of complete loss and to "marry up" 
related items which arrived at the ports 
separately for movement in the same ship, 
and such processes required a technical 
knowledge not possessed by civilian opera- 
tors. The pooling of military and lend-lease 
cargoes at the loading ports would handi- 
cap oversea commanders in diverting the 
ships to whichever discharge ports might 
best meet the military need of the moment. 
In the Army-Navy protest against the direc- 
tive of 18 December it was asserted that 
their recent agreement for joint loadings 
in the Pacific would be impeded in its op- 
eration if the approval of schedules by a 
third party were required. 

On 31 December 1942 Mr. Douglas pre- 
sented to Admiral William D. Leahy, on 
behalf of the War Shipping Administration, 
a plan under which allocated ships would 
be loaded in accordance with a "mutually 
satisfactory program" and military techni- 
cians would be on hand to give advice 
whenever military cargo was being loaded 
by WSA operators. 21 Although Admiral 
Leahy thought the proposal went far toward 
resolving the difficulty, General Gross com- 
mented that it was based on a complete 
acceptance of the WSA interpretation of 
the executive order of 7 February 1942 and 
expressed the view that "there cannot be 

21 Memo, Admiral Leahy for General Marshall 
and Admiral King, quoted in JCS 173/3, 1 Jan 43. 

divided responsibility for the success of the 
military effort." 22 

A few days later, in a personal letter to 
Mr. Douglas, General Marshall referred to 
a "serious" and, he thought, "profitable" 
conversation at luncheon; stated that the 
Army's purpose in supporting the creation 
of WSA was to make available the maxi- 
mum number of ships in a pool for alloca- 
tion to the various uses; asserted that the 
Army had understood at that time that 
there was no intent to change the then 
effective practice of loading ships ; remarked 
that he had made special inquiry regarding 
the shipping personnel utilized by the armed 
services and had found an "impressive list" 
of men drawn from civil life, who could 
scarcely have lost their judgment and skill 
through donning a uniform; and com- 
mented that the method of procedure 
adopted by WSA in this affair "was bound 
to cause grave difficulties, animosities and 
delays." 23 On the same day Secretary 
Stimson advised Admiral Land that the 
matter was under discussion with the Presi- 
dent. 24 

The President's directive of 1 8 December 
was not rescinded, but it was not enforced 
by the War Shipping Administrator. The 
apparent purpose of WSA to exercise a 
supervision over the loading of military 
cargoes on W T SA vessels similar to that 
exercised by the British Minister of War 

22 Memo, for Somervell, 2 Jan 43, sub: Com- 
ment on Douglas Memo, OCT HB Exec Relation- 
ships with WSA; Ltr, WSA to Admiral Leahy, 
5 Jan 43, OCS 570, 1943. 

23 Ltr, 8 Jan 43, AG 334.8 WSA. First draft of 
this letter stated that while the Army had under- 
stood that the word "operation" in the EO of 
7 Feb 42 had given WSA the manning, fueling, 
victualing, repairing, and navigating of the ships 
under its control, the Army had never considered 
that operation included loading. 

24 Ltr, 8 Jan ^ OCT HB Gross Day File. 



Transport was not realized. The Army ports 
of embarkation continued throughout the 
war to load such vessels at their own piers. 
As the burden on Army facilities became 
heavier, increased use was made of piers 
operated by WSA agents, but the number 
of vessels loaded in this manner was a small 
percentage of the total. 

In the spring of 1943 Army shipping 
operations, along with those of the Navy, 
were attacked from another quarter and on 
a broader basis. The CIO maritime unions, 
charging inefficiency in the handling of 
American cargoes, proposed that all opera- 
tions, including warehousing, terminal 
management, and stevedoring, be cen- 
tralized under the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration and that the formulation and 
administration of policies governing those 
activities be vested in tripartite bodies rep- 
resenting labor, management, and govern- 
ment. In rejecting the proposal as "wholly 
unwise," WSA cited, among various con- 
siderations, the long-established transporta- 
tion services and large marine organizations 
of the Army and the Navy, the abandon- 
ment of which in the midst of war would 
create greater problems than already ex- 
isted. 25 The Senate Special Committee In- 
vestigating the National Defense Program 
(Truman Committee), while recognizing 
that there were inefficiencies in the war- 
time use of shipping, substantially supported 
the WSA position. 26 

A recommendation that all cargo ship- 
ping and terminal operations be placed 

25 Ltr, WSA to Sen Harry S, Truman, 8 Apr 43, 
and atchd WSA reply to unions, OCT HB Mar 
Com Opns; "CIO Ship Operations Plan May Be 
Revived in Congress," Journal of Commerce (New 
York), April 12, 1943; Frank R. Kent column, The 
Evening Star (Washington), April 14, 1943. 

20 Rpt 10, Pt. 8, Shipbuilding and Shipping, 22 
Apr 43, pp. 28, 29. 

under the control of the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration was made by the Subcom- 
mittee on War Mobilization of the Senate 
Committee on Military Affairs in October 
1943. 27 That subcommittee cited the opera- 
tions of the British Ministry of War Trans- 
port as an example of the efficiency which 
could be achieved by placing both military 
and civilian shipping under one agency. 
Again the War Department defended its 
method of handling cargo movements, pre- 
senting much the same arguments as those 
stated above. 28 The War Department also 
opposed a recommendation of the subcom- 
mittee that a new group be established, con- 
sisting of representatives of the several 
interested government agencies, to plan ship 
allocations; it considered such a group un- 
necessary since the existing allocation 
system, in which the Joint Military Trans- 
portation Committee and WSA co-operated, 
was "completely effective and smooth run- 
ning." No action was taken on either recom- 

The pooling of cargo in order to obtain 
more complete utilization of ship capacity, 
which was one of the principal arguments 
offered in favor of bringing the loading of 
both military and lend-lease cargoes under 
WSA control, had been given attention by 
the Army during 1942, but with only partial 
results. 29 In August the Transportation 
Corps and the British Ministry of War 

27 Rpt 3, Mobilization of Shipping Resources, 
7 Oct 43, p. 9. 

28 Ltr, USW to Sen Harley M. Kilgore, 3 Nov 
43, OCT HB Topic Kilgore Com. 

29 Ltr, CG SOS to British JSM, 23 Apr 42, ASF 
Hq British 1942-43; Conf with British, 10 Aug 42, 
OCT HB Wylie Cargo; Memo, C of Mvmts Div 
OCT (Mclntyre) for Dir of Opns OCT (Wylie), 
21 Aug 42, sub: Vehicles for British, OCT HB 
Wylie Cargo; Ltr, WSA to CG SOS, 9. Oct 42 ; Ltr, 
CG SOS to WSA, 19 Oct 42; Ltr, WSA to CG 
SOS, 22 Oct 42. Last three in ASF Hq Shipping 



Transport had agreed on a more active 
interchange of cargo for vessels sailing to the 
United Kingdom. In an exchange of com- 
munications with WSA in October the 
Army had acknowledged the validity of the 
principle of pooling, but had pointed out 
that the extent of its application was limited 
by military considerations. In November the 
President, apparently at the instance of 
Mr. Douglas, had addressed a joint mem- 
orandum to the Secretary of W ar, the Sec- 
retary of the Navy, and the War Shipping 
Administrator, emphasizing the need for 
complete co-operation in obtaining full 
utilization of ship space, to which the Sec- 
retary of War had responded that the 
matter was receiving constant attention and 
that the co-operation between the supply 
agencies of the Army and the Navy was 
more effective than some reports indi- 
cated. 30 Following the discussions which re- 
sulted from the issuance of the President's 
directive of 18 December 1942, cargo pool- 
ing made better progress. 

In connection with sailings from the 
Pacific coast the War Shipping Administra- 
tor proposed a co-operative arrangement 
to bring about quicker turnarounds as well 
as fuller ships, an arrangement which in- 
cluded utilization of the Joint Army-Navy- 
WSA Ship Operations Committee then 
being organized at San Francisco. 31 General 
Gross agreed to the proposal with certain 
reservations. He wanted it clearly under- 
stood that ship allocations to the Army 
would be made by WSA as in the past and 

30 Memo from the President, 19 Nov 42, AG 540 
(19 Nov 42) ; Ltr to the President, 24 Nov 42, AG 
540 (19 Nov 42); Memo, CofT for CG NYPE, 
15 Dec 42, sub: Cargo, OCT HB Wylie Shipping 
and Cargo for UK. 

31 Memo, n.d., sub: Program to Speed up Turn- 
arounds of Ships Operating in S and SW Pacific, 
submitted to Army by WSA; Ltr, CofT to WSA, 
18 Jan 43. Both in OCT HB Gross WSA. 

not by the Pacific coast joint committee, 
which he considered only a local organiza- 
tion to insure better use of the shipping 
which had been allocated for loading on the 
west coast. He also stated that Army cargo 
could not be scattered widely over com- 
mercial piers and would not be delivered 
to such piers until the vessels on which it 
was to move actually had been assigned. 
Understanding on these points was followed 
by better understanding on the general 

On 19 February 1943 the Army informed 
the War Shipping Administration that "as 
. . . in the past" it would call on WSA for 
space to lift less-than-shipload lots, in order 
to take advantage of deck loading on WSA 
vessels and to utilize earlier WSA sailings 
for high priority items; also that the Army 
would "continue" to offer space in ships 
which it operated, or which were allocated 
to it, for bottom and filler cargo to be sup- 
plied from lend-lease shipments. 32 Although 
the Army communication indicated, and 
quite accurately, that no new principle was 
being invoked, the actual pooling of cargo 
was increased considerably during the 
months which followed. This was particu- 
larly true of cargo interchanges between the 
Army, the War Shipping Administration, 
and the British Ministry of War Transport 
for sailings to the United Kingdom. During 
the month of February 1943, according to 
a WSA report, 93 WSA and BMWT 
vessels, which had loaded heavy lend-lease 
cargo for British ports, had sailed with 
almost 5,000,000 cubic feet of unused space 

32 Ltr, CofS SOS to WSA, OCT HB Gross WSA. 
Bottom cargo is heavy cargo, such as steel, placed 
deep in ship's hold to add to its stability. Filler 
cargo generally is packaged goods which can be 
stowed in spaces left empty by the stowage of 
bulky items such as vehicles, or in irregular spaces 
created by the shape of the ship. 



— some of which might have been utilized 
to lift light Army cargo. 33 The Transporta- 
tion Corps and WSA offices in Washington 
thereafter followed the practice of inform- 
ing each other of their prospective needs 
for heavy and light commodities to make 
balanced cargoes in order that interchanges 
might be planned in advance. A list of 
Army freight categories subject to inter- 
change was established and an order of 
procedure was worked out for the guidance 
of the Army port of embarkation at New 
York, which was the port chiefly concerned. 

One of the first problems which had to 
be worked out after the establishment of the 
War Shipping Administration was the 
development of a satisfactory method for 
the allocation of shipping to the several 
uses. The Army, in order to do effective 
long-range strategic planning, needed to 
know well in advance and with reasonable 
assurance how much shipping it could 
expect to receive from WSA in the Atlantic 
and the Pacific. In the beginning WSA 
was not able to give the Army such assur- 
ance because of uncertainty as to the rate 
of new ship deliveries, the extent to which 
ships would be sunk or damaged by the 
enemy, and the number of vessels which 
would have to be assigned for other pur- 
poses, especially lend-lease. Soon after the 
establishment of WSA the Army took the 
initiative in setting up tentative require- 

33 Memo, Water Div OCT for Gen Wylie, 11 
Mar 43, transmitting WSA statement of 9 Mar 43, 
OCT HB Wylie WSA; Memo, WSA for CG SOS, 
11 Mar 43, sub: Shipping Requirements through 
June 1943, OCT HB Wylie WSA; Memo, CofT 
for WSA, 13 Mar 43, not sent but used as basis 
for conf with WSA, OCT HB Wylie WSA; Memo 
prepared in WSA, 4 May 43, OCT HB Wylie WSA; 
Memo, Water Div OCT for CofT, 29 Apr 43, sub: 
Daily Rpt of UK Cargo, OCT HB Wylie Shipping 
and Cargo for UK; Memo, CG NYPE for CofT, 
2 May 43, sub: Policy for Mvrat of Cargo to UK, 
OCT HB Wylie Cargo. 

ments by informal agreement among the 
shipping agencies of the government, and 
as indicated in Chapter V this task soon 
was undertaken by the Joint Military Trans- 
portation Committee, in collaboration with 
WSA. Meantime WSA developed its 
machinery for establishing long-range re- 
quirements, making long-range allocations 
of blocks of tonnage to meet those require- 
ments, and eventually nominating specific 
vessels for specific voyages. In May 1942 
Mr. Douglas, as Deputy War Shipping 
Administrator, took charge of these activi- 
ties. 34 

After the War Shipping Administration 
had received an indication through the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding the amount 
of shipping needed for Army movements 
during ensuing months and had determined 
the number of ships it could allocate, it 
remained for the Chief of Transportation to 
inform WSA as to the vessels required for 
loading at the respective ports in the im- 
mediate future and to obtain from WSA 
the nomination of specific vessels to meet 
these requirements. The first function was 
performed for a time by his operations 
officer, but it was soon shifted to the chief 
of the Water Division, together with certain 
related activities. 35 The second function was 
performed by the Water Division from the 

34 Memo, ACofS G-4 for Mr. Hopkins, 24 Feb 
42, sub: Allocation of U.S. Shipping for 1942, 
G-4/29717-116; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS 
USA, 26 Feb 42, G-4/29717-116; Ltr, CG SOS 
to WSA, 9 Mar 42, sub: Requests for Allocations, 
G-4/2971 7-26; Ltr, WSA to CG SOS, 2 May 42, 
OCT HB Topic Mar Com Opns; Bureau of the 
Budget, The United States at War, p. 152. 

35 OCT Office Memo 12, 27 Mar 42, sub: Pro- 
cedure — Procurement and Acquisition of Vessels 
for WD, OCT HB Water Div Misc ; Ltr, Opns Off 
OCT to WSA, 13 May 42, OCT HB Water Div 
Misc; Memo, Opns Off OCT for Water Div OCT, 
3 Jun 42, sub: Duties Transferred, OCT HB Meyer 



beginning. The WSA officer in charge of 
allocations held daily meetings with repre- 
sentatives of the Water Division and the 
Naval Transportation Service, at which 
vessels were nominated for specific move- 
ments. 36 The preparation of daily estimates 
of cargo available at the respective ports 
and of vessels required to load such cargo 
was a function of the Ocean Traffic Branch 
of the Water Division, and the chief of that 
branch usually attended the daily meetings. 
When it appeared probable that there 
would be insufficient cargo at a particular 
port to fill vessels nominated for loading 
there, the Ocean Traffic Branch initiated 
action to have additional supplies brought 
forward from technical service depots. 

These daily meetings between representa- 
tives of the War Shipping Administration 
and the armed forces dealt not only with 
initial allocations of ships but also with 
adjustments necessitated by changed mili- 
tary plans, by the sinking or delay of vessels 
en route to loading ports, by prospective 
shortages of cargo at certain ports, and by 
changed movement priorities. During the 
latter part of the war, as the result of 
accumulated experience in planning, re- 
duced submarine activity, the increased 
number of ships in the WSA pool, and the 
more dependable flow of supplies to the 
ports, less frequent meetings were neces- 
sary. In addition to the routine procedures, 
emergency actions to obtain vessels from 
WSA for special purposes were initiated 
from time to time by the chief of the Water 
Division, the Director of Operations, the 
Chief of Transportation, and even the com- 
manding general of the Army Service 

36 Memo, Dir NTS for CofT, 13 Mar 42, OCT 
HB Wylie WSA; Memo, CofT for Dir NTS, 14 
Mar 42, sub: Daily Mtgs, OCT HB Wylie WSA; 
Mtg, 27 Mar 42, OCT 565.4 Army Vessels. 

Forces. Consultation with the Ocean Traffic 
Branch usually. preceded such actions. Since 
cargo vessels normally were allocated to the 
Army for outward voyages only and re- 
verted to W r SA after they had completed 
discharging at oversea ports, special ar- 
rangements were necessary when the Army 
desired to use certain ships for return cargo 
or for intratheater operation. 

Notwithstanding the close co-operation 
between the two offices and the steady in- 
crease in the cargo fleet, the War Shipping 
Administration's allocations frequently fell 
short of the Army requirements recognized 
by the Joint Military Transportation Com- 
mittee. Acting on a request from the Under 
Secretary of W r ar, General Gross in Febru- 
ary 1943 submitted a statement of "definite 
failures" on the part of WSA to provide 
the number of vessels requested, and in so 
doing expressed the view that more ships 
should be withdrawn from nonmilitary 
uses. 37 When this statement was presented 
to the Board of Economic Warfare, the 
Deputy War Shipping Administrator stated 
that military requirements had been met 
during the past sixty days and that civilian 
shipping had been cut as much as was wise. 
The Chief of Transportation persisted, how- 
ever, in his contention that Army require- 
ments were not being met and in April 1943 
presented a detailed study of the situation 
to General Somervell. 38 While recognizing 
the difficulty of matching requirements with 
specific ship nominations, in view of 
changing military plans and uncertain ship 
arrivals, he stated that a balancing of total 
allocations against total requests for the 

"Memo for USW, 25 Feb 43, sub: Failures to 
Meet Ship Requirements; Memo, USW for CofT, 
6 Mar 43. Both in OCT HB Gross WSA. 

38 Two Memos, both 9 Apr 43, sub: Shipping 
Situation, OCT HB Wylie Shipping Requirements 
and Allocations 1943. 



months of January, February, and March 
showed monthly deficits of 11, 14, and 24 
vessels. He pointed out that since cargo had 
to be brought to the ports in anticipation of 
ship allocations, the inevitable result of a 
deficiency of ships was a backlog of sup- 
plies which interfered with port operations 
and rendered efficient loading difficult. 

Despite the careful attention given to the 
matter, these monthly deficits continued to 
occur. The obvious explanation was that 
cargo ships did not become available for 
allocation as anticipated in the long-range 
planning. The less apparent explanation 
was that while the planners took into 
reasonably accurate account the progressive 
reduction in ship losses and the increase in 
construction, they did not fully foresee the 
extent to which vessels would be held in the 
theaters for use in local operations and on 
account of discharging delays. 39 

Although the supply of cargo shipping 
usually was short of what the military plan- 
ners wanted and the vessels available for 
allocation to the Army frequently fell short 
of its approved requirements, there were 
times when cargo was short at particular 
ports or for particular destinations. This was 
notably true in 1943 when the cargo fleet 
was being increased rapidly and the pro- 
duction of war materiel was lagging.* In 
September of that year Brig. Gen. Robert 
H. Wylie, the Acting Chief of Transporta- 

39 Memo, CofT for Plans Div ASF, 20 Apr 44, 
sub: Priority of Ships for Pacific Theaters, OCT 
563.5 POA; Opns Mtg OCT, 27 Jul 44, sub: Ships 
for August Program, OCT HB Dir of Opns ; Memo, 
Gen Somervell for Gen Hull OPD, 24 Oct 44, 
sub: Increased Requests for Shipping, P&O ABC 
560 (4 Jul 44) Sec 2; Memo, Admiral Land WSA, 
22 Nov 44, ASF Hq Shipping 1944. 

49 Memo, Gross for Somervell, 5 Jul 43, sub: 
Bank of Cargo, OCT HB Meyer Staybacks; Ltr, 
Wylie to CG BPE, 26 Sep 43, OCT 563.5 Boston; 
Ltr, Wylie for CG BPE, 16 Nov 43, OCT HB Wylie 

tion, stated that the "cargo availability 
picture" was bad at most ports and that 
the Army had all the ships it required and 
a "comfortable cushion." How long that 
situation would continue, he observed, 
depended on the rate of increase in the 
production of supplies and whether the 
current favorable position in regard to ship 
losses was maintained. The failure of the 
technical services to move supplies into the 
ports as rapidly as the ports called for them 
had been brought to the attention of Army 
Service Forces headquarters, General Wylie 
said, and he would continue to press for a 
more adequate flow. Cargo still was short 
at east coast ports in November, but the 
production curve was swinging upward and 
a shortage of such scope did not occur again 
during the war. 

The allocation of troopships was on a 
different basis. In the early months of the 
war the Army applied to the Maritime 
Commission and later to the War Shipping 
Administration for the allocation of troop- 
carrying vessels to meet specific require- 
ments in much the same manner as it 
applied for cargo vessels. The Army then 
controlled the vessels only on the outward 
voyage, and the ships reverted to WSA 
after completing discharge at oversea ports. 
Later, because of the urgent need for getting 
the vessels back to their home ports with- 
out the delays incident to loading return 
cargo, the Army requested that troopships 
be allocated for the round voyage. 41 This 
arrangement, which apparently became 
effective late in 1943, ostensibly applied 
only to the faster troopships which had 
small cargo capacity. In effect, however, all 

41 Ltr, CofT to WSA, 8 Dec 42, OCT HB Meyer 
Staybacks; Memo, Gen Wylie for Gen Franklin, 
8 Jun 43, OCT HB Meyer Staybacks; Ltr, C of 
Water Div OCT to WSA, 25 Aug 43, OCT 565.4 
Army Vessels. 



WSA troopships, except the temporarily 
converted freighters, were allocated for 
round voyages, since their employment was 
governed solely by troop movement re- 
quirements. 42 When nonmilitary passengers 
and cargo were available for homeward 
voyages they were lifted by arrangements 
between WSA representatives and Army 
transportation officers at the oversea ports, 
but with the understanding that the voyages 
would not be delayed. Since there was a 
substantial amount of such traffic, detailed 
regulations were published covering the 
movement of nonmilitary passengers on 
WSA vessels, both outbound and inbound. 43 
Prior to the establishment of the War 
Shipping Administration the Army had in- 
cluded in its budget estimates funds re- 
quired for the procurement, conversion, re- 
pair, and operation of Army-owned trans- 
ports and also for the hire, conversion, 
repair, and operation of vessels obtained 
under various forms of charter. In con- 
nection with the budget estimates for the 
fiscal year 1943, which were under con- 
sideration in the spring of 1942, the Bureau 
of the Budget announced that it would 
eliminate from the Army estimates all funds 
requested in connection with vessels ob- 
tained under forms of charter other than 
bareboat. That action was predicated on 
an indication by Congress, in connection 
with the Sixth Supplemental National De- 
fense Appropriation Act, 1942, that such 
expenses should be met out of a WSA 
revolving fund. General Gross strongly 

42 Memo, C of Mvmts Div OCT for Dir of Opns 
OCT (Wylie), par. Id, 15 Nov 44, OCT HB 
Mvmts Div Gen; Conf, author with Lt Col H. H. 
Naughton, 5 Apr 48, OCT HB Mvmts Div Gen. 
The arrangement was formally sanctioned by 
JMTC in JMT 80, 6 Nov 44, par. 4. 

43 WSA Traf Reg 6 (rev.), 20 Apr 44; OCT Cir 
80-9, Supp. 1, 16 Jan 45, sub: Civilian Passenger 
Traffic, OCT HB Topic Mar Com Opns. 

recommended that all funds required by the 
Transportation Corps to carry out its over- 
sea shipping responsibilities be appropriated 
to the Army, and the Secretary of War 
supported him in that position ; but a meet- 
ing between representatives of the Army 
and the Bureau of the Budget resulted in 
agreement substantially on the basis which 
the Bureau had put forward. 44 Funds for 
the hire, conversion, repair, and operation 
of vessels operated by WSA agents and al- 
located to the Army were thereafter to be 
appropriated to WSA. The memorandum 
on interdepartmental relationship, approved 
by the Army and WSx\ shortly after the 
above matter was determined, provided 
that except in cases of emergency WSA 
would be the sole contracting agent for 
the Army in the purchasing, chartering, or 
requisitioning of ocean-going vessels. 

The First Supplemental National Defense 
Appropriation Act, 1943, provided funds 
for the War Shipping Administration to 
carry on all the activities and functions 
which had been assigned to it, including 
"costs incidental to the acquisition, opera- 
tion, loading, discharging, and use of 
vessels transferred for use of any depart- 
ments or agencies of the United States." 45 
In accordance with the policy implicit in 
that act, and in furtherance of the pro- 
visions of the memorandum on interdepart- 
mental relationship, agreements were 

44 Memo, Mil Budget Estimate Sec SOS for CG 
SOS, 21 May 42, sub: Water Trans Policies; Ltr, 
SW to Bureau of Budget, 27 May 42; Ltr, Bureau 
of Budget to SW, 4 Jun 42. All in OCT 545.02 
Army Vessels. Agreed basis permitted WD to in- 
clude estimates for vessels "permanently assigned" 
to it, which would be mostly bareboated vessels, but 
might include a few assigned on other bases. WD 
estimates also included funds for loading and dis- 
charging WSA vessels allocated to the Army at 
Army piers. See Ltr, WSA to OCT, 21 Sep 42, 
OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring. 

45 PL 678, 77th Cong., par. 14, 25 Jul 42. 



worked out between the Army and WSA 
covering financial and other arrangements." 16 
The principal financial arrangements were 
as follows : When title to a vessel was trans- 
ferred from WSA to the Army, no charge 
was made for the vessel or for any conver- 
sion effected by WSA prior to transfer in 
order to make the vessel suit the Army's 
need, but the Army bore the cost of subse- 
quent alterations and the cost of operation, 
maintenance, and repair. When vessels were 
assigned permanently by WSA under bare- 
boat charter or similar arrangement the 
Army paid no charter hire, and the ar- 
rangements regarding conversion, opera- 
tion, maintenance, and repair were the same 
as in the case of vessels transferred outright. 
When vessels operated by WSA agents were 
allocated to the Army for its use, the cost 
of maintenance and operation was borne by 
WSA; no charge was made for the trans- 
portation of Army cargo and mail on such 
vessels, and conversely the Army made no 
charge for WSA cargo carried on Army 
transports. When WSA vessels allocated to 
the Army were loaded or discharged at 
domestic or foreign piers which the Army 
controlled, the Army assumed the cargo- 
handling costs. When WSA vessels allocated 
to the Army were loaded or discharged at 
commercial or WSA piers, WSA assumed 
the cargo-handling costs usually borne by 
the ship, but the Army paid the charges 
that accrued on the piers. Army passengers 
traveling on WSA vessels paid no transpor- 

ts WD Cir 332, 22 Dec 43; amplified and revised 
by TC Cir 25-5, 1 Jan 44; TC Cir 40-2, 24 Jan 
44; OCT Misc Ltr 49, 4 Aug 44; WD Memo 
55-44, 29 Sep 44; TC Cir 80-9, 28 Oct 44; WD 
Memo 55-44, 22 Dec 44. All in OCT HB Topic 
Mar Com Opns. Summary of financial arrange- 
ments is based mainly on WD Memo 55—44, 29 
Sep 44. Agreement incorporated in this directive 
did much to eliminate earlier confusion regarding 
financial adjustments. 

tation or subsistence charges, but the per- 
manent military complements placed on 
such vessels paid subsistence charges. On 
Army transports military and Army-spon- 
sored civilian passengers paid neither fare 
nor subsistence charges, passengers traveling 
at the expense of other government agencies 
paid subsistence only, and other passengers 
paid prescribed fares which included sub- 
sistence charges. No reimbursement was 
made for supplies furnished to Army trans- 
ports by WSA, but since WSA vessels were 
operated by private agents supplies fur- 
nished to such vessels from Army sources 
were paid for. 47 

Conferences between Assistant Secretary 
of War McCloy and Deputy War Shipping 
Administrator Douglas during the latter 
stages of the controversy over the loading 
of allocated vessels led to a request by those 
officials that the Chief of Transportation 
designate an officer to serve as permanent 
War Department liaison with WSA. 48 The 
officer so designated, Col. Werner W. 
Moore, had been in charge of marine design 
and procurement for The Quartermaster 
General and the Chief of Transportation 
during the emergency period and the early 
months of the war and later had served as 
transportation officer for the Trinidad sec- 
tor of the Caribbean Defense Command. 
His experience, therefore, gave him an in- 
sight into both the constructional and the 
operational phases of Army marine trans- 
portation. As special assistant to the Deputy 
Administrator, Colonel Moore was as- 

47 WD Memo 55-45, 28 Aug 45, stated that 
thereafter WD would reimburse WSA for fuel oil 
and coal furnished to Army vessels. 

48 Memo, OASW for ACofS for Opns SOS, 14 
Jan 43, OCT 201 Col. Werner W. Moore; Memo, 
C of Mil Pers Div OCT for CG ASF, 19 Nov 43, 
OCT 201 Col. Werner W. Moore; Conf, author 
with Col. Moore, 31 Mar 48, OCT HB Topic Mar 
Com Opns. 



signed to work on many problems in which 
both WSA and the Army had an interest. 
Such assignments were made by WSA, not 
by the Army. The position was discontinued 
in July 1944, by which time the working 
relationships between WSA and the Trans- 
portation Corps had become stabilized. 

As indicated above, General Gross held 
strongly to the opinion that matters affect- 
ing allocation of ships, as well as matters of 
policy, should be worked out between his 
office and the headquarters of the War 
Shipping Administration rather than be- 
tween Transportation Corps and WSA 
representatives at the ports. He believed 
that better utilization of the limited shipping 
resources would be achieved in that way. 
Experience showed also that the head- 
quarters offices were in a better position to 
solve difficulties by compromise, as was so 
often necessary. The latter point was illus- 
trated early in 1942 when a controversy 
developed between the Seattle Port of Em- 
barkation and the Seattle representative of 
WSA regarding the control of shipping and 
the determination of priorities in the Alaska 
service, then considered of high strategic 
importance. 49 After a futile attempt to have 
the matter settled between representatives 
of the Army and WSA at the port, a divi- 
sion of responsibility was worked out in 
Washington in consultations between the 
Office of the Chief of Transportation, WSA, 
and the Navy. 

While firm in his insistence on centralized 
control of ship allocations, General Gross 
favored direct dealings and full co- 

49 Memos, Opns Off OCT for CofT, 5 and 19 
Apr 42, OCT HB Wylie Seattle; Draft of agree- 
ment Initialed by Gross, 6 Apr 42, OCT HB Wylie 
Seattle; Ltr, Opns Off OCT for WSA, 12 May 42, 
OCT 544.2 Seattle; Memo, CG SOS for ACofS 
OPD WDGS, 15 May 42; 2d Ind SPE for CofT, 
6 Oct 42. Last two in OCT 544.2 Alaska. 

operation between the local representatives 
of the War Shipping Administration and 
the Transportation Corps in matters affect- 
ing the loading, discharging, operation, and 
repair of vessels. 50 In addition to participat- 
ing in numerous joint committees at the 
ports, the personnel of the two agencies 
worked in close co-ordination in the day-to- 
day handling of the affairs of the ships with 
which both were concerned. The records 
indicate that a high degree of harmony and 
helpfulness prevailed in these relationships. 

Relations with the Navy 

The relations of the Army and the Navy 
in connection with ship operations would 
have been comparatively simple had the 
prewar plan been carried into effect. Joint 
Army and Navy Basic War Plan, Rainbow 
5, contemplated that in case of war the 
Army would continue to operate ports of 
embarkation but that the Navy would 
"provide sea transportation for the initial 
movement and the continued support of 
the Army and Navy forces oversea," and 
in so doing would man and operate the 
Army transports. 51 That arrangement was 
set aside, however, and the maintenance of 
separate ocean transport services gave rise 
to numerous problems in connection with 
the joint use of troop and cargo ships and 
the convoying and routing of merchant 

The question of placing the Army trans- 
ports under Navy manning and operation 
was actively considered during the year 
preceding our entry into war. In November 
1940 G— 4 suggested that this be done with- 
out waiting for an actual state of war, but 
the War Plans Division and The Quarter- 

r '° See Ltr, CofT to CG NOPE, 22 Oct 42, OCT 
HB Wylie Staybacks. 

51 JB 325 (Ser 642-5), 30 Apr 41, Sec VII, par. 
50, and Sec IX, par. 55 ; also rev. 1, 19 Nov 41. 



master General did not concur. 52 In April 
1941, actuated by the U.S.-British staff 
conversations which were concluded during 
the preceding month, the Navy proposed 
that the subject be discussed by representa- 
tives of the two departments. The Army 
assented, with the understanding that if 
such an arrangement should be made the 
Army would retain control over the missions 
and the movements of the vessels. 53 Agree- 
ment was reached substantially on that 
basis, and since the Navy believed that it 
could accomplish the manning in from 30 
to 45 days, a schedule was prepared which 
would have placed all Army troopships 
and freighters under Navy operation by 
the end of July. 54 The Navy did not ac- 
complish the task as had been anticipated, 
however, and by November had placed 
crews on only seven Army transports; 
G— 4 then expressed doubt as to the Navy's 
ability to give satisfactory service to the 
Army, because of the subordination of this 
service to other Navy interests. 55 

On the day after the Japanese attack on 
Pearl Harbor, representatives of the armed 
services and the Maritime Commission dis- 
cussed the subject and decided that the 

52 Memos, ACofS G-4 for DCofS USA (Moore), 
26 Nov 40 and 7 Dec 40, sub: Opn of ATS by 
Navy; Memo, QMG for ACofS G-4, 3 Dec 
40, QM 570 T-W-C (Army Transports) ; Memo, 
ACofS WPD for ACofS G-4, 23 Dec 40, WPD 
2789-1. All in G-4/ 29 7 17-51. 

™ Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for ACofS G-4, 
7 Apr 41, OCT HB Wylie Navy Crews for Army 
Transports; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 7 
Apr 41, sub: Manning Army Vessels with Navy 
Crews, G-4/29717-51. 

54 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 14 Apr 41, 
G-4/29717-51 ; Memo, CofS USA for CNO USN, 
30 Apr 41, G-4/29717-51 ; see also Memo, JPC for 
JB, JB 320 (Ser 686), 28 Apr 41, OCT 571.22 
Army Transports. 

" 5 Memo, CNO for all Bureaus and Naval Dis- 
tricts, 7 Jul 41, G-4/561.22 Navy; Memo, ACofS 
G-4 for WPD, 19 Nov 41, sub: Transfer of ATS 
to Navy, G-4/29717-51. 

Army and the Navy should continue their 
separate transport services, subject to the 
Navy's preponderant interest in ships in the 
Pacific. 50 The Navy, confronted with a 
heavy demand for crews for combatant 
vessels, soon proposed removing its per- 
sonnel from six of the seven Army trans- 
ports and retaining the operation of only 
one, which was being converted to a com- 
bat loader; it also proposed turning over to 
the Army the LaFayette (ex-Normandie) 
which was then undergoing conversion to 
a troop transport. To this the Army agreed, 
anticipating no difficulty in providing civil- 
ian crews for these ships, in addition to ap- 
proximately 140 other vessels then in its 
service. 57 

The entire question was reopened almost 
immediately, however, when the Army 
undertook to bring the joint war plans into 
harmony with these informal arrangements. 
The Navy then advised that, after further 
consideration, and with the consent of the 
Army Chief of Staff, it would continue to 
man the six Army transports; also that it 
would man the LaFayette when that vessel 
was ready for service. 5 " Late in February 

5f; Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for Exec Trans 
Br 8 Dec 41, Item 1, OCT HB Gross Day 

File; Memo, CNO for JB, 17 Dec 41, sub: Sea 
Trans, OCT HB Gross Navy ; Memo, C of Trans 
Br G-4 for WPD (Gerow), 23 Dec 41, WPD 

57 Memo, CNO USN for CofS USA, 9 Jan 42, 
sub: Removal of Navy Crews from Army Trans- 
ports; Memo, CofS USA for CNO, 14 Jan 42; 
Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 23 Jan 42. All 
in G-4/29717-51. 

58 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 1 7 Jan 42, 
sub: Change in Joint Action on Water Trans, 
OCT HB Gross Day File; Memo, CNO for CofS 
USA, 26 Jan 42, G-4/29717-51; Memo, CNO 
for BUSHIPS, etc., 27 Jan 42, G-4/29717-51. 
Four of the six Army transports were turned back 
to the Army later in the war. The giant LaFayette, 
following serious damage by fire during conversion, 
capsized at her pier in New York harbor and never 
returned to service. 

TROOPSHIPS OPERATED BY THE NAVY. The Wakefield (top), Mount Vernon 

(center), and West Point (bottom). These converted American passenger liners 
served both the Army and the Navy as personnel carriers. 



1942 the Chief of Naval Operations re- 
quested the concurrence of the Army Chief 
of Staff in a memorandum to be sub- 
mitted to the Joint Board, which proposed 
not only placing all Army transports under 
Navy operation but also making the Navy 
responsible for arranging with the War 
Shipping Administration for the allocation 
of such additional ships as were required 
for military purposes. General Marshall 
did not concur; rather, he contended that 
the establishment of WSA by executive 
order of 7 February 1942 had abrogated 
that feature of the Army-Navy joint action 
agreement and had provided for Army 
control of its own transports and for alloca- 
tion of WSA vessels directly to the Army. 59 

Late in 1942, when the general question 
of more effective co-ordination between 
Army and Navy oversea supply operations 
was being considered, the subject of unified 
operation of the transport fleets again came 
to the fore, together with consolidation of 
other transportation functions. On 9 No- 
vember 1942 General Gross forwarded 
to General Somervell a plan which pro- 
posed making the supply of the oversea 
bases of both the Army and the Navy a 
function of the Army Services of Supply; 
having all movements of Army and Navy 
supplies for oversea destinations "controlled 
and performed" by the Army; and having 
all troop and cargo transports used by the 
Army and the Navy operated by the Navy 
with Coast Guard crews, but controlled by 
the Army Transportation Corps. 60 The plan 
was presented as a basis for discussion with 
the Navy, and Gross evidently had mis- 
givings regarding the outcome. In an ac- 

59 Memo, CNO for CofS USA (Betty for 
George), 26 Feb 42, and Incl; Memo, CofS USA 
for CNO, 27 Feb 42, sub: Opn of Army Trans- 
ports. Both in OCS 16374-53. 

companying note he stated to Somervell 
that in consenting to turn over all troop 
and cargo ships to the Navy for operation, 
the Army would be losing "much of the 
power of independent action" which it then 
enjoyed in accomplishing its supply mission. 
He warned that unless the Army firmly con- 
trolled the loading and assignment of the 
vessels its position would be weakened more 
than could be risked in a war in which the 
shipping requirements were so predomi- 
nantly those of the Army. He also considered 
it important that the Army have control of 
the movement of supplies of both the Army 
and the Navy, not only by sea but from 
points of origin to the ports. Gross recom- 
mended that, if the Navy should reject these 
Army controls, the proposed agreement be 
limited to supply matters and leave the 
transportation situation unchanged. He did 
not then indicate how, if the Army proposal 
were acceptable to the Navy, vessels cur- 
rently operated by agents of the War Ship- 
ping Administration and allocated for the 
use of the armed services would be 
brought under Navy, operation, but stated 
later that it would require a change in the 
executive order by which WSA was created. 

After consideration of the Army's plan, 
the Navy submitted a counterproposal 
which provided for Navy operation of the 
troop and cargo transports used by the 
Army and the Navy, including those allo- 
cated by the War Shipping Administration, 
Navy control of routings and diversions, 
assignment of vessels to particular areas and 
operations by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, op- 

60 Plan to Simplify Supply and Trans of Over- 
seas Forces of both Army and Navy, indorsed to 
Somervell by Gross, 9 Nov 42 ; Penciled Memo by 
Gross atchd to plan, n.d., sub: Conf with Navy. 
Both in ASF Hq Trans 1941-42. Col Finlay, Exec 
OCT, recalls that plan was prepared at Somervell's 



eration of ports of embarkation and oversea 
discharge terminals by the Army, and 
separate control by the Army and the Navy 
of their respective supply movements to 
the ports. 61 Gross discussed the counterpro- 
posal thoroughly with his staff and then 
informed Somervell that he was convinced 
that the Navy plan, which contemplated 
unified control of shipping but not of the 
movement of supplies, would not work and 
would not justify turning over the ships 
then under Army control to the control of 
the Navy. He expressed the opinion that 
"nothing less than the full control over 
the use of all transports and dry cargo ships 
by the Army to move all troops and cargo 
in accordance with theater priorities and 
within allocations set from time to time 
by the Joint Chiefs of Staff would do the 
job effectively," He stated that the Army, 
because of its huge supply responsibility, 
could not be satisfied with a system that 
depended on compromising conflicting 
opinions. Gross accordingly recommended 
that "no change be made in the operation 
and control of ships by the transportation 
services of the Army and Navy other than 
on the basis of mutual cooperation to meet 
priorities set by theater commanders." 

Consideration of the subject did not end 
there, however, Somervell, or Gross, or 
both believed that the duplications and 
conflicts which seemed inevitable if the 
Army and the Navy continued to maintain 
separate transportation systems should be 
avoided if possible. Accordingly, in mid- 
December 1942 another plan was put for- 
ward by the Army. This plan called for a 
unified oversea transportation service, to be 

M Plan to Consolidate Supply and Transport of 
Overseas Forces of Army and Navy, n.d., OCT HB 
Topic Army-Navy Joint Logistics ; Memo, Gross 
for Somervell, 23 Nov 42, same sub, OCT 020 Joint 
Trans Sv — Army and Navy. 

responsible for all transportation for the 
armed services (except for the Fleet), or- 
ganized along the following lines : the trans- 
portation agencies of the Army Services of 
Supply to control the movement of oversea 
supplies to the ports, the storage of such 
supplies en route to and at the ports, and 
the loading of the ships; the Navy to handle 
the manning and repairing of vessels, the 
control of vessels in port, and the routing 
and escorting of vessels; the head of the 
joint oversea transportation service to be an 
Army officer with a Navy officer as prin- 
cipal deputy (since 75 to 90 percent of 
the forces overseas would be Army per- 
sonnel) ; the joint service to be under the 
command of the commanding general of 
the Army Services of Supply, who would 
have a dual responsibility to the Chief of 
Staff of the Army and the Chief of Naval 
Operations; the Joint Chiefs of Staff to 
assign shipping to the several strategic 
areas. 02 A detailed proposal for the imple- 
mentation of this plan, including procedures 
relating to movement priorities, was for- 
warded to the Navy a fortnight later. In it 
was a clause calling for the installation of 
naval crews on War Shipping Administra- 
tion vessels allocated to the joint service, 
"as expeditiously as practicable." 

Once more the Navy came back with a 
counterproposal. The idea of "sweeping 
unification" put forward by the Army was 
rejected, since the Navy considered it in- 
advisable to make drastic changes in the 
organization or in the logistical responsibili- 

62 Memo, General Somervell for Admiral Home 
VCNO, 13 Dec 42, sub: A Single Oversea Trans 
Sv; Draft Memo for Home, submitted by Gross to 
Somervell, 2 1 Dec 42, with detailed plan. Both in 
OCT 020 Joint Trans Sv— Army and Navy. Plan 
eventually was forwarded with Memo, Maj Gen 
W. D. Styer CofS SOS for Admiral Home, 30 Dec 
42, ASF Hq CofS Trans File. 



ties of the services at that time. "Results 
equally effective, the Navy believed, could 
be obtained by a "system of coordinators, if 
vested with sufficient power of decision, con- 
trol, and supervision." GX But the Army did 
not look with favor on the Navy's plan for 
co-ordination of transportation through a 
system of boards operating under the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff. The Army preferred to 
effect the necessary co-ordination of the two 
transportation services through the already- 
established Joint Military Transportation 
Committee, or by direct negotiations. The 
Army believed that the plan for a unified 
transportation service was worthy of further 
consideration but apparently was convinced 
that it was not likely to be adopted "be- 
cause of basic differences of organization." 
For all practical purposes, the wartime 
effort to set up a single transportation serv- 
ice for the Army and the Navy ended there, 
and from that point forward the emphasis 
was on co-ordination of operations. 

Underlying the differences of opinion 
which produced a stalemate in the effort to 
achieve a unified transportation system 
were fundamental differences in the logisti- 
cal systems of the Army and the Navy. The 
entire system of naval logistics at that time 
was decentralized: the Naval Transporta- 
tion Service dealt only with ocean trans- 
portation ; the movement of supplies to the 
ports and within the country was a function 
of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts; 
because of the dispersion of procurement 
and shipping responsibilities Navy head- 

13 Memo, ACNO for Logistical Plans (Admiral 
Oscar C. Badger) for VCNO, 7 Jan 43, sub: Plan 
for Co-ordination of Army-Navy Oversea Trans 
and Logistics; Memo, General Styer for Admiral 
Badger, 16 Jan 43. Both in OCT HB Topic Army- 
Navy Joint Logistics. The exchange of communica- 
tions was accompanied by frequent discussions of 
the subject by representatives of the two services. 

quarters had no adequate facilities for 
making accurate estimates of its shipping 
requirements.' 3,1 The Army's transportation 
system was more closely integrated: the 
Chief of Transportation had supervision of 
both inland and transoceanic transporta- 
tion, had a close liaison with the technical 
or supply services of the Army and the head- 
quarters organization of the Services of 
Supply (later Army Service Forces), and 
actually controlled the movement of both 
troops and supplies through the Traffic 
Control Division in his office and the Over- 
sea Supply Divisions at the ports of em- 
barkation. The Army based its effort to 
centralize control of transportation and 
supply movements for the armed services 
on its own experience. The Navy shrank 
from the adoption of such a plan, because 
that would have required extensive adjust- 
ments in its logistical organization and 
methods."' Beyond the organizational and 
procedural differences, however, there was 
a natural and evident reluctance on the part 
of each service to place complete control 
of any important phase of its logistical op- 
eration in the hands of the other. 

Although the efforts to bring the ocean 
transportation systems of the Army and the 
Navy under a single operating management 

,u See Duncan S. Ballantine, U.S. Naval Logistics 
in the Second World War (Princeton, 1949), pp. 
70-80, 90-94, 101-08, 119, 124-28. Memo, Som- 
ervell for Home, 1 Apr 43, sub : Increasing the 
Powers of the Naval Trans Sv, OCT 020 Joint 
Trans Sv — Army and Navy. 

"■' For Army views on duplications and conflicts 
arising from separate Army and Navy transporta- 
tion operations see joint Memo, Wylie, Mclntyre, 
and Meyer, for Finlay Exec OCT, 19 Apr 44, sub: 
Testimony, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. See also 
statement by Somervell before Select Com on 
Postwar Mil Policy, HR, 78th Cong., 2d Sess., 
Hearings pursuant to H, Res. 465, Proposal to 
Establish a Single Department of Armed Forces, 
Pt. 1, pp. 100-102. 



did not succeed, the Navy provided crews 
for certain Army transports and operated 
them on missions established by the Army. 
In other respects also the Army Transporta- 
tion Corps and the Naval Transportation 
Service complemented and assisted each 
other in an effort to increase the efficiency 
with which the men and materiel of the 
armed services were moved between the 
zone of interior and the theaters and within 
the theaters. 

Soon after our entry into the war the Army- 
arranged that the Maritime Commission 
should construct fifty troop transports for 
its use. 156 Up to the end of 1 942 the Trans- 
portation Corps had planned to man the 
vessels with civilian crews, but since it was 
anticipated that they would be utilized ex- 
tensively in forward areas the Under Sec- 
retary of War proposed that consideration 
be given to the advisability of manning 
them with naval personnel." The views of 
the commanding general of the New York 
Port of Embarkation were sought on the 
general question of replacing civilian with 
naval crews, and he strongly favored the 
latter on grounds of discipline, continuity 
of service, and co-operation between vessel 
crews and gun crews. 08 Similar inquiries 
sent to the theater commanders brought 
replies which predominantly favored naval 

GS CCS 56/1, 6 Mar 42, par. 7; Memo, Mvmts 
Div OCT for Col. Wylie, 2 Sep 42, sub: Ships 
under Cons for Army, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 
Of these troopships 30 were converted cargo ships 
(C— 4 type) and 20 were wartime passenger ship 
designs (P— 2 type). Other cargo ship conversions 
were arranged later. 

67 Memo, USW for CG SOS, 1 Jan 43, and 
Reply, 2 Jan 43, AG 231.8 (12-29-42) (1). Navy 
had proposed and Army had agreed to install 
features which would make these vessels more 
readily adaptable for combat loading. Memo, CNO 
for CofS USA, 19 Aug 42, sub: U.S. Army Troop- 
ships, and reply, 24 Aug 42, OCT HB Gross Navy. 

68 Memo, Gross for Somervell, 29 Dec 42, sub: 
Disadvantages of Civ Crews, OCT HB Gross Crews. 

crews, although the Army commanders in 
the Central and the Southwest Pacific saw 
no advantage in naval as against civilian 
manning.' 59 

Early in 1943 the Navy, having learned 
through "informal conversations" that it 
might be called on to man the new troop- 
ships, requested the Army to advise it in 
this regard as soon as practicable, in order 
that it might begin to assemble personnel 
and arrange with the Maritime Commission 
for crew accommodations according to 
Navy standards to be installed while the 
vessels were under construction. 7 " This 
request brought into active discussion a 
matter in which the Transportation Corps 
had a keen interest — the larger crews car- 
ried by Navy-manned transports and the 
consequent danger of reduced troop capac- 
ity on the new vessels. 71 The Army's reply 
to the Navy indicated that existing plans for 
the new transports called for Army man- 
ning, but apparently hinted that these plans 
were subject to change, for the Navy at once 
began to study the possibility of restricting 

,;tJ Rads, CM-OUT 9568 to 9576, 29 Dec. 42; 
Memo, Styer for Gross, 25 Jan 43, OCT HB Gross 

70 Memo, VCNO for CofS USA, 15 Jan 43, sub: 
Army Transports — Manning by Navy, OCT 231.8 
Army Vessels. 

71 General Wylie presented comparisons indicat- 
ing that both operating and gun crews on Navy- 
manned transports were much larger than on simi- 
lar Army transports, and that larger reserves of 
stores were carried. See Memo for Gen Gross, 24 
Mar 43, OCT HB Wylie Navy Crews of Army 
Transports. Larger naval crews are explained as 
necessary on transports operating in Pacific for- 
ward areas to avoid delays in unloading at ports 
where there were no shore gangs and delays on 
account of needed repairs at ports where there 
were no shore repair facilities. See Memo, Rear 
Adm John B. Heffernan for C of Hist Div SSUSA, 
13 Dec 49, pars. 4 and 5, OCMH. Naval transports 
subject to use in assault operations naturally carried 
larger gun crews than vessels in regular transport 



the size of its crews on the vessels in ques- 
tion. 72 

A concrete proposal on this subject was 
submitted to the Navy in April by General 
Somervell, who in so doing referred to a 
"suggestion made by the Navy that the new 
Army transports be crewed by the Navy." 73 
The proposal stipulated that the Army 
should have control over the missions and 
the schedules of the vessels and over their 
loading and unloading, as in the case of the 
several old Army transports already manned 
with naval personnel; that the vessels should 
be returned to transport service promptly- 
after completion of any task force opera- 
tions to which the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
might assign them ; and that the size of the 
Navy crews should be limited so as not to 
impair their capacities as transports. The 
Navy agreed in principle to these stipula- 
tions, but indicated that it would be the 
judge as to what size crews were required 
for the services to be rendered. General 
Somervell accepted this condition, but ex- 
pressed the view that the determination of 
such matters should be "a command 
decision with all phases of the shipping 
problem in mind," rather than a technical 
decision by a bureau with professional repu- 
tation to consider. In this as in other aspects 
of shipping Somervell and Gross felt that 

72 Memo, VCNO for BUSHIPS, 1 Feb 43, OCT 
231.8 Army Vessels; Memo, VCNO for BUPERS, 
3 Feb 43, OCT 231.8 Army Vessels; Memo from 
Army, 26 Jan 43, cited in Navy Memo of 1 Feb 
43, was not found. 

73 Memo, Somervell for Home, 1 Apr 43, sub: 
Navy Crewing of Army Transports, OCT HB Gross 
Crews; Memo, Home for Somervell, 24 Apr 43; 
Memo, Somervell for Home, 27 Apr 43. Last two 
in OCT 231.8 Army Vessels. In addition to the 
50 new troopships, Somervell suggested placing 
naval crews on 50 projected airplane and tank 
carriers and on certain older troopships, but this 
was not done. 

the Navy held too rigidly to its technical 
standards, considering the scarcity of bot- 

Responsibility for the decision to place 
naval crews on these transports is not 
clearly established in the records. The 
Office of the Chief of Transportation had 
no enthusiasm for the plan, probably be- 
cause it feared that its control over the 
vessels would be qualified thereby. A naval 
officer who participated in some of the con- 
ferences states that the Navy was not 
anxious to undertake this manning task, but 
reluctantly agreed to do so because that 
seemed to offer the best solution to a prob- 
lem. 74 The evidence seems to warrant the 
conclusion that the initiative came from 
General Somervell or some higher official 
in the War Department. 

The army urgently needed the new troop 
transports, and early in May it entered a 
vigorous protest on learning through the 
Maritime Commission that completions 
would be delayed several months because 
of the extent of the alterations required by 
the Navy. 15 The Navy's response defended 
the structural changes which were being 
made in order to adapt peacetime designs 
to wartime service, but indicated that every 
effort would be made to expedite deliveries. 
Soon thereafter the Maritime Commission 
reported to the Chief of Transportation 
that as a result of the Army's protest the 
Navy had become more moderate in its re- 
quirements. Nevertheless, after two months 
the Army again approached the Navy on 

71 Memo, Rear Adm John B. Heffernan for C 
of Hist Div SSUSA, 13 Dec 49, pars. 4 and 5, 

75 Memo, Somervell for Home, 7 May 43, and 
reply, 11 May 43, sub: Delivery Dates; Penned 
Memo, Gross for Somervell, 12 May 43. All in 
OCT HB Gross Mar Com. 



this subject. 76 The Army pointed out that 
it had made commitments at the Casa- 
blanca Conference based on the Maritime 
Commission's delivery schedule and was 
embarrassed by the serious disruption of 
that schedule. The Transportation Corps 
suggested that in order to place the new 
vessels in service with the least possible de- 
lay, the armament and crew quarters in- 
stalled prior to delivery be kept to essentials 
and that any further work of that nature be 
done during subsequent lay-up periods; also 
that the shakedown cruise be omitted when 
this would enable a vessel to join an earlier 
convoy. The available records do not show 
the Navy's reaction to these suggestions, but 
the testimony of officers who were in a 
position to observe the developments indi- 
cates that the only concession which the 
Navy made was to shorten shakedown 
cruises when the need for the ships was 
especially urgent. 7 ' 

The Navy actually placed forty-nine of 
these transports in full commission. In addi- 
tion to manning them, the Navy was respon- 
sible for their maintenance. The Army con- 
trolled their schedules and also their loading 
and unloading, which for the most part took 
place at Army piers. The Office of the Chief 
of Transportation and the Naval Trans- 
portation Service conferred in preparing 
sailing schedules and in establishing the 
availability of ships for repairs. 78 

76 Memo, CofT for Dir NTS, 23 Jul 43, OCT 
564 Army Vessels; Memo, OCNO for CofT, 24 
Jul 43, OCT 564 Army Vessels; Memo, Somervell 
for Home, 2 Aug 43, sub: Loss of Troop Lift, OCT 
HB Meyer Staybacks. 

77 Confs, author with Capt W. N. Mansfield USN 
and Lt Col. H. H. Naughton USA, 7 Apr 48, 
OCT HB Topic Navy. 

78 WD Cir 167, par. 1, 29 Apr 44; Memo, Dir 
NTS for CofT, 18 Sep 43, sub: Transport Assign- 
ment; Memo, ACofT for Dir NTS, 28 Sep 43. 
Last two in OCT HB Meyer Staybacks. 

In general the operation of these trans- 
ports worked out satisfactorily to General 
Gross and his staff. There were numerous 
problems, but through close liaison they 
were soon settled. The Army, for example, 
reported that some of the Navy ship com- 
manders had "inflexible" ideas regarding 
billeting, and requested NTS to call to their 
attention the fact that the agreement con- 
cerning the vessels provided for billeting in 
accordance with plans prepared by the 
Army port commanders. In a few instances 
Navy ship commanders insisted on getting 
Navy concurrence before executing home- 
ward sailing orders issued by Army oversea 
commanders involving diversions from the 
usual routes. Conflicts of authority between 
Navy commanders and the Army's perma- 
nent complements on the vessels caused 
some difficulty, until detailed joint instruc- 
tions covering jurisdictional matters and op- 
erating procedures were issued. 7 " A more 
basic complaint from the Army's standpoint 
was that, although the Navy had agreed to 
operate the ships on schedules established 
by the Army, it did not do so automatically 
but entered into long "bargaining" discus- 
sions in support of its own interests. 80 This 
type of joint operation increased the amount 

79 Memo, Dir NTS for Fifth Naval Dist, 19 Sep 
43, indicated original intention of NTS was that 
Navy should control homeward routing, OCT HB 
Meyer Staybacks ; Memo, Exec for Opns OCT for 
Capt Hunt USN, 7 Mar 44, sub: Navy Transports 
Assigned Army Missions, OCT HB Meyer Stay- 
backs; Memo, ACofT for Dir NTS, 24 May 44, 
sub: General Mann, OCT HB Mvmts Div Farr 
Staybacks; WD Memo, 55-45, 22 May 45; Conf 
with Col Naughton cited n. 77; Conf with Lt Col 
J. A. Griffin, 7 Apr 48. Last three in OCT HB 
Topic Navy. 

80 Comment 3, Col Donald E. Farr, on Ltr, 
Wardlow to Farr, 24 Feb 48, OCT HB Mvmts Div 
Gen. Col Farr was Chief of Mvmts Div OCT and 
was responsible for scheduling these and other 



of administrative detail and the time re- 
quired to dispose of it. 

During the repatriation period an ac- 
cumulation of complaints by soldiers return- 
ing from the Pacific theaters regarding con- 
ditions on Navy-operated transports led to 
a request by the Chief of Transportation 
that The Inspector General investigate this 
matter." The Inspector General's report 
indicated that some of the complaints were 
without foundation and that those relating 
to the insufficiency and poor quality of food 
were not general but applied only to certain 
vessels. The Navy took steps to improve the 
food but stated- that, because of the rapid 
rate of demobilization, there was small pos- 
sibility of carrying out a suggestion that 
additional commissary and steward person- 
nel be assigned to the vessels. 

While consideration was being given to 
the question of placing Navy crews on the 
new Army transports which were intended 
primarily for operation between the zone 
of interior and the theaters, the Navy pro- 
posed that all merchant vessels which were 
operated habitually within the theaters, in 
direct support of naval or military activities 
in forward areas, be Navy-manned. 82 Gen- 
eral Gross opposed this proposal because of 
the increased "power to veto" it would give 
the Navy over Army operations, the larger 
space required for Navy crews, and the 
fact that the existing system had not been 
found unsatisfactory. 83 During the discus- 
sion of this subject in the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, General Somervell stated that "the 

81 Memo, SFPE for Comdr WSF, 11 Feb 46, and 
reply, n.d. ; Memo, CofT for TIG, 18 Feb 46; 
Memo, TIG for CG ASF, 22 Mar 46. All in OCT 
560 Navy Vessels. 

s - JCS 240, 20 Mar 43. 

83 Memo, Gross for Req Div SOS, 22 Mar 43, 
sub: JCS 240, OCT HB Wylie Navy Crews on 
Army Transports. 

Army would prefer to have all ships manned 
by Navy crews," but did not like the pros- 
pect that it then would have to "petition" 
the Navy for their use. 84 Also, Somervell 
was opposed to disturbing the crew situa- 
tion in the Southwest Pacific, where he felt 
an excellent job had been done in obtaining 
ships and manning them with civilians. 
Agreement was reached in April 1943 on 
the basis that when Navy crews were placed 
on vessels which had been operated by or 
for the Army, those vessels would remain in 
the service and under the control of the 
Army and that the Southwest Pacific would 
be excepted from the arrangement unless 
and until the theater commander should re- 
quest naval manning. 85 Some months later, 
when WSA protested against the manning 
of so many freighters and tankers by the 
Navy on the ground that this made them 
unavailable for lend-lease and civilian uses, 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff indicated that the 
arrangement did not apply to vessels in serv- 
ice between the zone of interior and the 
theaters, even though they might remain in 
the theaters for extended periods. It de- 
veloped that this agreement was of limited 
effect, since combat loaders and certain 
transports used in the theaters already had 
Navy crews, and other merchant vessels 
moved in and out of the forward areas 
rather than operating there consistently. 86 

S4 JCS 69th Mtg/23 Mar 43, Item 2. 

H5 JCS 240/2/D, 23 Apr 43; JCS 240/5/D, 27 
Oct 43; JCS 641, 23 Dec 43; JCS 641/1, 31 Jan 
44; see also Memo, Wylie for Somervell, 28 Dec 43, 
sub: JCS 644, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 

80 Request of CG SWPA that Navy man certain 
merchant vessels permanently assigned to theater 
was only partially complied with because of limited 
personnel. See Memo, CG ASF for CNO, 15 Nov 
43, OCT 565.4 SWPA; JLC 42/3, 19 Feb 44, Incl 
A; JCS 644/1, 14 Mar 44; Memo by JCS Secre- 
tariat, 22 Mar 44, P&O ABC 570 (3-1-43) Sec 2. 



Both the Army and the Navy procured a 
large amount of equipment which had to be 
towed to the theaters, such as barges, small 
tugs, cranes, car floats, and floating power 
plants. In addition to the ocean-going tugs 
owned by the Army, the Navy and the War 
Shipping Administration had craft of this 
type. Some of these large tugs were intended 
for use in the theaters, but others returned 
to home ports after delivering their tows. 
Early in 1944, in order to bring this traffic 
under better regulation, the three agencies 
agreed to prepare joint priority lists. 87 The 
purpose of the agreement was to insure that 
all ocean-going tugs were used to best ad- 
vantage and that the tows included the 
items most urgently needed overseas. As re- 
gards towing in the Pacific, the agreement 
was administered by a committee in Wash- 
ington which met weekly to establish prior- 
ities and prepare towing charts. The Chief 
of Transportation was represented on the 
committee by an officer of his Water Divi- 
sion, usually the head of the Harbor Boat 
Branch. The detailed instructions issued by 
the committee permitted the west coast rep- 
resentatives of the agencies concerned to 
change the towing charts when such action 
was found desirable, but the Chief of Trans- 
portation required his port commanders to 
obtain the approval of his office before 
agreeing to such adjustments. Transatlantic 
tows during the spring and summer of 1944 
were of great strategic importance, and 
therefore the basic arrangements were made 
on higher levels. Thereafter little equipment 
was towed to Europe and the emphasis was 

87 Memo of Agreement, 28 Jan 44, sub: Joint 
Priority Lists for Ocean Towing Operations, ASF 
Hq Shipping 1944; Joint Memo, Dir NTS, CofT, 
and WSA for their representatives at Pacific ports, 
7 Mar 44, OCT HB Water Div Towing; Memo, 
CofT for CG SFPE, 30 Sep 44, sub: Tug and Tow 
Mvmt Charts, OCT 565.2 SF 3d Geog File. 

on the Pacific. On 7 July 1945 Col. Ray- 
mond M. Hicks, Chief of the Water Divi- 
sion, stated that the Transportation Corps 
had been self-sufficient up to that time but 
that nearly all of its ocean-going tugs had 
been delivered to the theaters so that it 
soon would be dependent on the Navy and 
WSA in that respect." 8 On that date the 
Transportation Corps had forty-one tugs 
and tows at sea en route to the theaters. 

The adoption of the Basic Logistical Plan 
early in 1943 was followed by broader co- 
operation between the Army and the Navy 
in oversea logistical operations, including 
the joint utilization of ships and ship space. 
General arrangements for handling the 
oversea movements of the two services were 
worked out by the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation and the Naval Transporta- 
tion Service in Washington. This involved 
considerable trading which did not always 
prove easy, and in OCT it sometimes was 
felt that the Navy drove a hard bargain. 89 
The detailed arrangements for the joint 
loading of vessels were worked out at the 
ports. At Atlantic and Gulf ports, where 
the Navy's traffic was relatively light, this 
function was performed by local repre- 
sentatives of the Army, the Navy, and the 
War Shipping Administration, working 
more or less informally. On the Pacific 
coast, where the Navy's traffic was heavy, 
the Army-Navy-WSA Ship Operations 
Committee exercised an over-all supervision. 
The interchange arrangements in regard to 
freight were relatively simple, and all types 

88 Proceedings, Mtg of Supts of Water Divs, 7 Jul 
44, pp. 15-16, OCT HB Water Div Misc. 

89 See pencil Memo, Gross for Wylie, 8 Aug 42, 
regarding proposal to borrow refrigerator ship from 
Navy for one trip to Alaska, OCT HB Topic Navy; 
Memo, Oversea Tr Br Mvmts Div OCT for C of 
Ping Div OCT (Farr for Stokes), 19 Nov 43, 
OCT HB Farr Staybacks. 



of ocean-going vessels with cargo capacity 
were considered in the pool, including the 
larger types of Navy landing ships. The 
joint use of ships which had troop capacity, 
including combat-loading merchant vessels 
and combatant vessels, involved more com- 
plicated problems, which will be dealt with 
when oversea troop movements are dis- 

The joint logistical operations of the 
Army and Navy, including their joint use 
of ships, created a demand for greater uni- 
formity in shipping procedures. The first 
real progress in that direction came with the 
publication of "United States Army and 
Navy Shipping Procedures" in March 
1945. 9 " This pamphlet, an adaptation of a 
War Department manual, was developed 
by personnel of Army Service Forces head- 
quarters, the Office of the Chief of Trans- 
portation, and the Navy. Its basic purpose 
was to simplify and regulate the flow of 
shipping documents and information re- 
garding ship movements, passengers, and 
cargoes between the United States and the 
theaters, and between theaters. Insofar as 
practical it prescribed uniform procedures 
for both Army and Navy, and where com- 
plete uniformity was not considered feasible 
it explained the differing methods so that 
each service would understand the other's 
system. It provided that a central record 
control unit, to facilitate the execution of 
the plan, should be set up at each United 
States port and in each theater, jointly 
whenever practicable. Up to the end of the 
war joint units, known as Army-Navy 

9 »WD TM 38-412/OPNAV 39-H3: Memo, Dir 
Contl Div ASF for CG ASF, 8 May 45, OCT HB 
Contl Div Procedures Br; Monthly Vessel Utiliza- 
tion Summary, 27 Aug 45, OCT HB Water Div 
Vessel Utilization ; SFPE Quarterly Hist Rpt, Apr— 
Jun 45, pp. 62-65, OCT HB SFPE; Memo, 
SFPE for CofT, 8 Oct 45, sub: Hist Rec and Incl, 
ANSIA, OCT HB Topic Port Co-ordination. 

Shipping Information Agencies (ANSIA), 
had been established at San Francisco, Los 
Angeles, Seattle, and Boston. Although the 
early termination of hostilities prevented a 
thorough testing of the plan, the Army port 
of embarkation at San Francisco, where 
ANSIA began functioning in May, reported 
favorable results. Whether any such units 
were established overseas is not indicated 
in the records available. 

Close liaison on all levels was maintained 
in the Army-Navy co-operative effort, and 
General Gross and the Director of the 
Naval Transportation Service assigned per- 
manent liaison officers each to the other. 
The Navy liaison officer, Lt. Comdr. George 
E. Taylor, made his headquarters in the 
Office of the Assistant Chief of Transporta- 
tion for Operations, but also worked closely 
with the Water Division on technical devel- 
opments affecting the two services." 1 The 
Army liaison officer with NTS was Lt. Col. 
Joseph S. Crane. In addition to giving per- 
sonal attention to a great variety of matters 
on behalf of the Chief of Transportation 
and his principal assistant, Colonel Crane 
served as Army representative on the Joint 
Merchant Vessel Board. During peacetime 
and the early months of the war the board 
was engaged in surveying merchant vessels 
and preparing general plans to facilitate 
their conversion to war service/ 12 The board 
also served as a clearing house for technical 
information regarding merchant vessels 
which the Army or the Navy desired to ac- 
quire, but that service was on a diminishing 
scale after the War Shipping Administra- 
tion began functioning. 

01 Memo, CofT for Dir NTS, 31 May 45, gives 
Gross's high estimate of Taylor's services, OCT 
HB Gross Day File. 

1,2 Memo, Lt Col Crane for TC Historian, sub: 
Joint Merchant Vessel Bd, 7 Sep 42, OCT HB 
Topic Army-Navy JMVB. 



Naval Convoy and Routing Arrangements 

Under the joint war plan of the Army 
and the Navy the protection of merchant 
shipping was a naval responsibility." 3 Early 
in 1941 the Navy and the British Admiralty 
made arrangements for sharing this re- 
sponsibility, in case the United States 
should become a party to the war in Europe, 
in order to obtain the most economical use 
of their combined resources. Immediately 
after Pearl Harbor those arrangements 
were amplified and adapted to the prob- 
lems of a world-wide battle against the sub- 
marine. 04 The situation was thoroughly re- 
viewed again at the Atlantic Convoy Con- 
ference which was held in Washington in 
March 1943. The controlling factor during 
the early part of the war was the shortage 
of escort vessels, and all planning was con- 
ditioned by that circumstance. Availability 
of escorts determined the number and the 
size of the convoys that could be organized, 
hence the extent to which vessels would 
run independently and rely on diversive 
routing for protection. The subject of con- 
voying and routing is an exceedingly broad 
one, and the story properly belongs to the 
Navy. 95 This section will review only cer- 

93 Joint Basic War Plan, Rainbow 5, Sec. VII, 
pars. 30a and 35c, JB 325 (Ser 642-5), Incl A, 30 
Apr 41; ABC-1, An. V, L'.S.-British Stf Corns, 
Washington, ended 27 Mar 41. 

04 Memo, Secy for Collaboration USN for Chief 
Stf Off British Naval Stf, Washington, 22 Dec 41; 
USN Memo, 22 Jan 42, sub: Routing Merchant 
Vessels in Areas under Strategic Contl of U.S.; 
Atlantic Convoy Conf, 1-12 Mar 43. All in OCT 
HB Topic Convoy and Routing. 

nj See History of Convoy and Routing, typescript 
first draft narrative, signed by Rear Adm Martin 
K. Metcalf, USN (Ret), Dir of Convoy and Rout- 
ing, May 45, prepared under general supervision 
of the Dir of Naval History; also Samuel Eliot 
Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, September 
1939-May 1943 (Boston, 1947). 

tain features which were of special concern 
to the Army. 

Though the Navy had done some escort- 
ing prior to Pearl Harbor in both the Pacific 
and the Atlantic, these were scattered and 
minor operations compared with the task 
which was to be undertaken as soon as the 
United States entered the war, and the de- 
tails of an adequate system had to be 
worked out step by step. During December 
1941 and January 1942 each convoy was 
set up by special arrangement between the 
Army and the Navy. The most urgent Army 
responsibility was the dispatch of troops and 
supplies to Hawaii. The San Francisco Port 
of Embarkation made extraordinary effort 
to get two vessels ready to sail to Honolulu 
on 1 3 Deceinber, only to find that the Navy 
was not prepared to provide escorts until two 
days later. 90 A Navy announcement that it 
would be able to escort only one convoy 
from San Francisco to Australia during 
January necessitated a revision of Army 
troop movement plans, with the result that 
the departure of the first contingent was 
delayed.'" G— 4 objected to holding certain 
fast freighters, loaded with supplies urgently- 
needed in Australia and the Caribbean, for 
uncertain convoy sailings and arranged that 
the Navy waive its requirement and permit 
the vessels to sail unescorted, contending 
that the risk was warranted under the cir- 
cumstances. ns At Navy request the Army 

96 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 12 Dec 41 ; 
Memo, CofS USA for Admiral Stark USN, 13 
Dec 41 . Both in OCS 2 1 2 76-2 1 350. G-4 complained, 
that the Army's need was subordinate in this case 
to a less urgent Navy need for escorts. 

97 Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for ACofS G-4, 
26 Dec 41, sub: Conf with Navy, OCT HB Topic 
Convoy and Routing. 

98 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 14 Jan 42 ; 
Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for CO's of ports, 30 Jan 
42, sub: Release of Slow and Fast Freighters. Both 
in OCT HB Topic Convoy and Routing. 



combined a troop movement from New York 
to Australia and New Caledonia, scheduled 
to sail 20 January, and one from Charleston 
to Bora Bora, scheduled to sail 25 January, 
as a measure of economy in the use of escort 

At this period G— 4 was responsible for 
making convoy arrangements with the 
Navv, and the incumbent chief, General 
Somervell, protested when the Chief of 
Staff authorized GHQ to deal directly with 
the Navy in connection with movements to 
Iceland and North Ireland. 10 " Somervell 
contended that since G— 4 arranged for the 
transports and controlled the ports at which 
the vessels were loaded, it was in the best 
position to work out the details regarding 
convoys. General Marshall accepted that 
point of view. 

The Navy repeatedly emphasized that 
movements must be kept within the escort 
possibilities, 1 " 1 Late in January 1942 Ad- 
miral King protested to General Marshall 
that his office was being embarrassed by- 
requests for convoys made without sufficient 
advance notice. Upon being informed that 
the Army would notify the U.S. Naval 

"Memo, CNO USN for CofS USA, n.d., sub; 
Convoy for Bobcat and Australia ; Memo, Gross 
for Ross (Trans Br G-4), 15 Jan 42. Both in 
G-4/ 297 17-1 15. 

100 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 1 Jan 42, 
sub: Liaison with Navy, with approval by GCM, 
G-4/29717-89. For establishment of GHQ and re- 
lationship to WDGS see Kent R. Greenfield, Robert 
R. Palmer, and Bell I. Wiley, The Organization of 
Ground Combat Troops, in UNITED STATES 
GROUND FORCES (Washington, 1947), Chs. I, 
IX, X. 

101 Memo, CofS USA for ACofS G-4, 27 Jan 42, 
sub: Notification of Army Convoys, G-4/29717-89; 
Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 28 Jan 42, for- 
warded to Admiral King, G-4/29717-89; Memo, 
Admiral King for General Marshall, 30 Jan 42, 
OCT 045.4 G-4 file Jan-Feb 42 ; Memo, King for 
Marshall, 7 Feb 42, OCT HB Topic Convoy and 

Shipping Control Officer as promptly as 
possible of any changes in schedules or addi- 
tional movements, Admiral King replied 
that the Navy was "unable to provide es- 
corts ad lib," and that it would participate 
in preparing schedules which could be 
maintained as soon as the current "flurry" 
had subsided. In another protest, filed a 
few days later, Admiral King stated that he 
could not accept the premise that it was 
the Navy's business to furnish escort for any 
troopship sailing that the Army might set 
up, when the plan was made without co- 
ordination with the Navy. G^I took the 
position that it merely had stated what es- 
corts were wanted and expected the Navy 
to indicate whether they could or could not 
be furnished; it noted that the Navy thus 
far had provided the escorts requested with- 
out much delay. 1 " 2 Admiral King then was 
informed that the Army would endeavor to 
conform to any plan of co-operative action 
that the Navy might propose. The Navy- 
requested one month's notice of the Army's 
need for a convoy, whenever that was pos- 

By mid-February 1942 the Navy had 
worked out a plan for convoys on the prin- 
cipal routes, which provided one sailing 
every 40 days to the United Kingdom, Ice- 
land, Greenland, and Newfoundland; one 
sailing every 30 days to Bermuda, the Car- 
ibbean, South America, Australia, and the 
islands of the Pacific ferry route; 6 sailings 
monthly to Hawaii. 103 The plan eontem- 

102 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS USA, 9 Feb 42, 
sub : Admiral King's Note on Escorts, G-4/ 29 7 1 7-89 ; 
Memo, Marshall for King, 10 Feb 42, 21343-18, 
OCS 21276-21350; Memo, COMINCH for CofS 
USA, 9 Feb 42, sub: Escorts in Atlantic, 

103 Memo, Marshall for King, 21 Feb 42, sub: 
Navy Escorts for Army Transports, 21343—19, OCS 
21276-21350; Memo, King for Marshall, 24 Feb 
42, OCT HB Gross Day File. 



plated that cargo vessels would sail un- 
escorted unless they had sufficient speed to 
accompany troopship convoys; that troop- 
ship convoys would have a speed of at least 
15 knots; and that high-speed troop trans- 
ports would sail unescorted but with off- 
shore air coverage. The Army commented 
that this convoy schedule placed a severe 
limitation on the oversea war effort. It 
requested that the 40-day intervals be re- 
duced to 30 if possible; that the convoy 
speed limitation be placed at 1 3 knots in the 
Pacific and 14 knots in the Atlantic in 
order that the slower troopships might be 
included; and that convoy arrangements 
be developed for Alaska. The Army accept- 
ed other features of the Navy plan, with the 
understanding that it was subject to revision 
in the light of experience and that the Navy 
would keep the Army informed as more 
escorts became available. The Navy indi- 
cated that it was not then able to go far 
in complying with these requests but would 
co-operate to the fullest extent- possible in 
meeting the Army's transportation problems. 

Thenceforward there was a running ex- 
change of information between the two 
services and an effort toward closer co- 
ordination, the Army always pressing for 
more frequent convoys, the Navy adjusting 
its plans to meet the Army's needs as far 
as possible but urging that requests for 
special movements be kept to a minimum. 
Late in March 1942 Admiral King called 
attention to the special convoys which had 
been arranged for that month, and, while 
acknowledging that the movements in ques- 
tion were of highest priority, stated: ". . . 
this sort of thing cannot go on — we simply 
have not the means to escort multifarious 
expeditions." 104 The Army response, pre- 

104 Memo, King for Marshall, 23 Mar 42; Memo, 
Marshall for King, 27 Mar 42, sub: Navy Escorts. 
Both in OCT HB Gross Day File. 

pared by General Gross for General Mar- 
shall's signature, stated that every effort 
would be made to reduce the demand for 
convoys and added that a better liaison and 
a better understanding of each other's prob- 
lems were developing between the two de- 

By summer, 1942, the weakness of the 
Japanese submarine threat had become ap- 
parent, and convoys in the Pacific were lim- 
ited to scheduled sailing between San Fran- 
cisco and Honolulu and irregular sailings 
into the forward areas. Later, convoys to 
Honolulu were discontinued; they were re- 
vived briefly in 1944 after a submarine 
scare and then abandoned altogether. In 
May 1945 vessels in the Pacific were being 
permitted to run independently as far west 
as Kossol Passage, about 750 miles south- 
west of Guam. 1 " 3 

In the Atlantic, on the other hand, there 
was a steady increase in convoy operations 
as rapidly constructed escort vessels came 
off the ways in greater and greater numbers. 
/Vfter taking severe losses during the early 
part of 1942 in the western Atlantic, the 
Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean, suffi- 
cient escorts became available to enable the 
Navy, with the aid of air patrols, to provide 
effective protection for merchant vessels 
moving in those waters. Increasingly fre- 
quent schedules of fast (14—15 knot) and 
slow (8—10 knot) convoys were required 
to effect the build-up of U.S. forces in the 
United Kingdom and to support the Allied 
campaigns in North Africa, the Mediter- 
ranean, and eventually on the European 
Continent. Up to V-E Day 1,134 principal 

11,5 History of Convoy and Routing, pp. 97-98; 
Memo, Lt Col Meyer for Lt Col Finlay, 4 Sep 43, 
OCT HR Topic Convoy and Routing; TC News 
Letter, 15 Nov 44, OCT HB Topic Convoy and 
Routing; Memo, CofT for CG ASF, 17 May 45, 
ASF Hq Trans 1945. 



convoys were escorted by the combined 
American-British-Canadian naval forces in 
the North and Middle Atlantic. 1 "" These 
convoys involved 47,997 merchant vessels 
and 8,233 escort vessels, or an average of 
42.3 merchantmen and 7.3 escorts per con- 
voy. The peak year was 1944 when 380 
convoys sailed, including 18,856 merchant 
ships and 3,070 escorts. There were, in addi- 
tion, less frequent convoy sailings between 
U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ports and South 
America, the Middle East, and other areas. 

During the critical part of the war, when 
German submarines were a constant threat, 
all vessels crossed the North and Middle At- 
lantic in convoys except those freighters 
which were too slow to keep up with the 
slow convoys and except fast ships of 19 or 
20 knots sustained speed which could out- 
run the U-boats. 107 Late in the war inde- 
pendent routing was the rule for tankers of 
all speeds and a greater number of freighters 
were permitted to run free, but all troop- 
ships except the more speedy ones con- 
tinued to sail with escort. The fast convoys, 
which included the troopships, were kept 
small in the interest of security, and they 
seldom exceeded 24 vessels. 108 The largest 
slow convoy to sail during the war consisted 
of 167 merchant vessels destined to the 
United Kingdom. Of this total, 109 were 
loaded at and sailed originally from United 

"" i History of Convoy and Routing, pp. 59-60, 

" IT In March 1942 proposal by General Somer- 
vell to permit 1,000 U.S. troops to sail for Ireland 
on an unescorted British ship of 19 knots was 
vetoed by General Marshall. Memo, CG SOS for 
CofS USA, 13 Mar 42, sub: Carrying Trs in SS 
Carnarvon Castle, OCT HB Gross Vessels — British, 
Later some troopships of 19 knots were permitted 
to run independently in the North Atlantic. 

" ]s Memo, Port Dir Third Naval Dist for CG 
NYPE, 18 Nov 48, sub: Convoy Arrangements, 
OCT HB Topic Convoy and Routing; History of 
Convoy and Routing, p. 73. 

States ports, and 58 originated at Canadian 

The troopships which sailed unattended 
in the Atlantic were, with a few exceptions, 
prewar passenger liners which had been 
converted for troop service. They included 
the largest and fastest American and British 
vessels, as well as several French, Dutch, 
and former Italian vessels which had come 
under American or British control. Although 
they ran without escort in the open ocean, 
they were given special protection in coastal 
waters. 109 Not a single ship of this fast group 
was lost in the Atlantic as the result of 
enemy action — an accomplishment attrib- 
utable to close teamwork between Ameri- 
can, British, and Canadian officials, accur- 
ate information regarding U-boat activities, 
careful control of routings and diversions, 
and skillful seamanship. 

Outside the North and Middle Atlantic, 
although protected convoys were employed 
wherever and whenever the danger was 
great and escorts were available, indepen- 
dent routing was used extensively. Some- 
times such routings involved wide diversions 
and greatly lengthened voyages. For ex- 
ample, increased submarine concentrations 
in the South Atlantic in the latter part of 
1942 caused more than 200 vessels bound 
from U.S. east coast ports to the Indian 
Ocean to be sent through the Panama 
Canal, down the west coast of South 
America, and around Cape Horn. When 
U-boats became active in the area off Cape- 
town, such vessels were diverted to the 

Ltr, Admiral E. J. King USN to Admiral 
Andrew Cunningham RN, 10 Oct 42, ASF Hq 
Navy 1942-44; Memos, COMINCH for Comdr 
ESF, 23 Oct 42 and 2 Dec 42, sub: Escort of 
British and U.S. Fast Transports, OCT HB Gross 
Navy; CCS 93d Mtg, Item 5, 22 May 43; CCS 
94th Mtg, Item 3, 23 May 43; CCS 246, 23 May 
43; History of Convoy and Routing, pp. 94—96. 



longer route across the South Pacific and 
around New Zealand and Australia. More 
than 500 vessels were routed in this manner 
prior to the opening of the eastern Mediter- 
ranean to Allied shipping in July 1943. 110 

Any comparison of losses as between es- 
corted and unescorted ships would involve 
a more detailed analysis of the data than 
can be undertaken here, but the following 
figures are of interest. 111 From September 
1939 to the end of the war, of a total of 
4,786 Allied and neutral merchant vessels 
of 1,000 gross tons or more lost on account 
of enemy action, 2,115 were lost while pro- 
ceeding independently, 1,266 while in con- 
voy, 318 while proceeding as stragglers from 
convoys, 367 after being detached or dis- 
persed from convoys, and 720 during mili- 
tary operations at anchor or in port. During 
1939—42 many more vessels were lost while 
proceeding independently than were lost in 
convoy, but thereafter the losses in convoy 
were somewhat the greater. 

The campaign in North Africa, the first 
large-scale Allied operation of the war and 
one calling for heavy and carefully sched- 
uled movements of troops and supplies, 
brought to light many problems in connec- 
tion with the organization and operation of 
convoys. A study made in General Gross's 
office of the convoys which sailed to that 
theater during the winter of 1942—43 pre- 
sented a disturbing picture of ship failures, 
collisions, and other mishaps that resulted 
in loss of ships' services and delay in the 
delivery of troops and cargoes overseas. 112 

110 History of Convoy and Routing, pp. 36-40. 

111 British Admiralty Rpt, BR 1337, British and 
Foreign Merchant Vessels Lost or Damaged by 
Enemy Action during Second World War, 1 Oct 
45, p. 19. 

112 Memos, General Marshall for Admiral King 
USN and Admiral Land WSA, 30 Mar 43, sub- 
Losses in Effective Use of Shipping, and atchd 
tabulation, OCS 570, 1943; ASF MPR, Sec. 3, 
31 Mar 43, pp. 70-74. 

Gross immediately launched a vigorous 
campaign to place all Army transports in 
proper mechanical condition for operation 
in convoy and to avoid faulty stowage 
which might result in the shifting of cargoes 
at sea, and he requested the War Shipping 
Administration to undertake similar meas- 
ures in regard to vessels operated under its 
control. He also urged the Navy to exercise 
close supervision to insure that each vessel 
assigned to a convoy was mechanically fit 
for the voyage and capable of maintaining 
the scheduled speed. 

This action had scarcely been taken, 
however, when more misfortune was re- 
ported. 11 ' Analysis of a convoy immediately 
after its sailing from New York on 1 April 
1943 disclosed that of a total of 51 cargo 
ships and tankers which had been loaded 
for the departure, 6 had been eliminated 
while getting under way in a heavy mist — 
5 because of collisions and 1 because of get- 
ting lost. Later information revealed that 
other vessels which had sailed with the con- 
voy had returned to port because of damage 
resulting from collisions and still others had 
gone astray in the fog. As a result, more 
than 20 percent of the cargo loaded had 
not gone forward. In addition to this delay 
of supplies actually put aboard, two vessels 
intended for the convoy had been elimi- 
nated before they reached the loading port, 
one because of collision and the other be- 
cause of machinery trouble. Further con- 
sultations with the Navy were immediately 

" J Merao, CofT for CG ASF, 2 Apr 43, sub: 
Sailing of Convoy UGS-7, OCT 045.4 UGS 
Memos, Marshall for Land and King, 3 Apr 43, 
OCS 570, 1943; Memo, CofT for CG ASF, 3 Apr 
43, sub: Effect of Fog and Collision upon UGS-7, 
OCT HB Gross WSA: Memo, Marshall for King, 
9 Apr 43, ASF Hq Navy 1942-44. "UGS" desig- 
nated slow convoys, "UGF" fast convoys, from 
U.S. ports to Gibraltar. 



While attributing the misfortune which 
befell this convoy largely to fog, the Navy 
cited it as ''another example of crowded 
conditions in New York" and as a strong 
argument for moving some of the convoys 
to other ports. 114 Further measures recom- 
mended by the Navy were the better main- 
tenance of machinery, the assignment of 
the best qualified masters to ships sailing in 
convoy, and limitation of the size of con- 
voys. The Army replied that the size of 
convoys could not be reduced until more 
escorts were available and more frequent 
sailings possible; it pointed out that the 
Army already was loading vessels at Boston, 
Baltimore, and Hampton Roads and would 
soon begin loading at Philadelphia but that, 
as long as the ships had to assemble at New 
York for convoy sailings, outport loading 
offered no relief so far as this particular 
problem was concerned; and it suggested 
that in addition to investigation by the 
Naval Inspector General, a joint review of 
the whole problem be made. 115 As the result 
of conferences on this subject and discussion 
in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, coastwise con- 
voys were soon established between Boston 
and Halifax, an arrangement which en- 
abled vessels loading at Boston to join an 
Atlantic convoy at Halifax rather than at 
New York, and the slow North African 
convoys were shifted from New York to 
Hampton Roads. 11 " 

Although the Combined and Joint Mili- 
tary Transportation Committees necessarily 
concerned themselves with convoy matters, 

114 Two Memos, King for Marshall, 5 Apr 43; 
Memo, Admiral Edwards for General Somervell, 5 
Apr 43. All in OCT HB Gross Navy. 

115 Memo, Marshall for King, 9 Apr 43, ASF 
Hq Navy 1942-44; Memo, Marshall for King, 21 
May 43, OCS 570, 1943. For report of NIG and 
resulting actions by Navy and JMTC, see JMT 
23/D, 27 May 43, and JCS 352, 8 Jun 43. 

the determination of the size and frequency 
of convoys remained a naval prerogative. 
In February 1943 a proposal to increase the 
size of the slow convoys to North Africa 
above the existing limit of 60 vessels, while 
strongly supported by General Gross, was 
opposed by the Navy. 117 In May, as the 
result of continued pressure from both 
American and British sources for an in- 
creased movement of cargo to North Africa, 
CMTC recommended that the Navy's limit 
of 60 vessels be raised at once to 80 and 
that, beginning in midsummer, convoy de- 
partures be increased from one every 15 
days to one every 10 days. Admiral King, 
while recognizing the urgency of the need, 
stated that the first proposal could not be 
carried out because of the shortage of es- 
corts and that the second proposal, although 
tentatively approved, might be found im- 
possible of accomplishment. However, the 
Navy, which had sole responsibility for es- 
corting U.S. -North Africa convoys as far as 
Gibraltar (where they were taken over by 
the British Admiralty), was able to raise 
the limit to 80 vessels beginning with 
UGS-13 which sailed in July 1943, and it 
soon increased the frequency to once very 
10 days. 

As the time approached for the sailing 
of UGS-16 (U.S. -Gibraltar slow convoy), 
it was disclosed that a total of 91 vessels 
had been presented for inclusion by the U.S. 

""Memo, King for Marshall, 18 Apr 43, OCT 
HB Gross Navy; Memo, Dir NTS for CofT, 16 
May 43, sub: Use of Boston as Convoy Loading 
Port, OCT 565.2 Boston Geog File ; Memo, Admiral 
Edwards for CofT, 20 Jun 43, OCT 045.4 Gen; 
JCS 352, 8 Jun 43. 

117 Memo, CofT for Secy CMTC, 26 Jan 43, 
OCT HB Meyer Staybacks ; CCS 182, par. 
III-l (a) of Incl, 25 Feb 43; CCS 222, 14 May 43; 
CCS 222/1, 2 Jun 43; Rad to British Admiralty, 
21 Jul 43, WD CM-IN 15169, OCT 045.4 Navy; 
CCS 222/5, 20 Sep 43; CCS 120th Mtg, 24 Sep 43, 
Supp. Min, Item 5. 



Army, the War Shipping Administration, 
and the British Ministry of War Transport. 
It then became a question of again raising 
the limit or of establishing priorities under 
which some vessels would be eliminated 
from the convoy. 118 An ad hoc committee, 
appointed by the Combined Military Trans- 
portation Committee to consider the sub- 
ject, recommended a basis for priorities, 
proposed that after priorities had been 
established by the Combined Chiefs of Staff 
the enforcement of them be delegated to 
CMTC, and suggested that the Navy be 
requested to fix the earliest possible date 
for increasing the frequency of UGS con- 
voys to four per month. In a JCS discussion 
of this report Admiral King expressed con- 
cern regarding the extent of activity of the 
ad hoc committee, but was satisfied with 
the assurance of General Somervell, who 
was a member of that committee, that it 
intended to deal only with priorities and 
not with the size and other operational as- 
pects of convoys. The report of the ad hoc 
committee was approved by CCS. 

When the question of permitting more 
vessels to proceed independently was taken 
up in the Combined Military Transporta- 
tion Committee during the summer of 1944, 
the Navy again displayed opposition to any 
qualification of its responsibility for the 
protection of merchant shipping. The Brit- 
ish Admiralty had suggested the possibility 
of saving shipping by making the convoy 
system more flexible and releasing ships 
from the necessity of proceeding in slow 
convoys when there was no enemy threat 

n8 CMTC, 68th Mtg, 19 Aug 43; Memo, EM 
Jr for Gen Somervell, 19 Aug 43, ASF Hq Trans 
1943; CCS 222/2, 20 Aug 43; CCS 222/3, 22 Aug 
43; JCS 111th Mtg, Item 11, 23 Aug 43; CCS 
116th Mtg, Item 4, 24 Aug 43. 

in the area where they were operating. 110 A 
Navy spokesman pointed out that economy 
also involved prevention of unnecessary 
losses and expressed the view that if such 
a practice were initiated there would be 
great difficulty in keeping it within bounds. 
Upon suggestion of General Gross, who felt 
that the proposed flexibility might apply 
to the faster cargo vessels operated on trans- 
atlantic voyages as well as those in the 
western Atlantic, a subcommittee was ap- 
pointed to review the situation. Soon there- 
after Gross was informed by a Navy spokes- 
man that Admiral King did not regard the 
charter of CMTC as giving it authority to 
look into his convoy and routing policy and 
that the subcommittee was distinctly per- 
sona non grata with him. 120 At the next 
meeting of CAITC the Navy representative 
requested that the subcommittee be dis- 
solved, and this action was taken. 

The numbers of passengers that might be 
carried on escorted and unescorted vessels 
were fixed by the Navy, but the Army's 
views were taken into consideration. 121 The 
Army's position was influenced naturally 
by the urgent need for troop lift, and con- 
sequently the Army favored taking advan- 
tage of any space that could be used with- 
out excessive hazard. The problem was 
a complicated one, involving not only 
questions of route, speed, and escorts, but 
also the question of lifeboat capacity and 
distinctions between service and nonservice 
personnel. Co-ordination with the British 

119 CMTC, 89th Mtg, Item 1, 16 Jun 44; CMTC, 
90th Mtg, Item 1, 1 Jul 44. 

'-° Memo, Admiral W. W. Smith for General 
Gross, 13 Jul 44, OCT HB Gross Navy; CMTC, 
91st Mtg, Item 1, 14 Jul 44. 

m Memo, Admiral Edwards for CofT, 18 Jul 42, 
ASF Hq Navy 1942-44; Memo, CofT for Admiral 
Edwards, 5 Aug 42; Memos, CofT for Deputy 
CofS USN, 23 Nov 42 and 14 Feb 43. Last three 
in OCT HB Meyer Staybacks. 



concerning rules applicable to the respective 
areas of responsibility was necessary. Be- 
cause of changing conditions the rules were 
in a state of flux throughout the war. 

The convoy system imposed numerous 
problems on the Transportation Corps, 
particularly in connection with the large 
cargo convoys in the Atlantic. The assem- 
bling of so many vessels in port at one time 
not only intensified the hazards of navigation 
but caused loading, repairing, and supply- 
ing operations to be concentrated in cer- 
tain periods, with resulting pressure on the 
personnel and facilities concerned. The 
Army ports of embarkation carefully 
scheduled their loading operations, taking 
into account the convoy sailing dates, the 
availability of pier facilities, and the 
adequacy of labor, and the Chief of Trans- 
portation undertook to arrange with the 
War Shipping Administration, which pro- 
vided most of the vessels, to have them 
delivered promptly in order that the 
schedules might be maintained. 122 Delayed 
arrivals due to submarine activity, unfore- 
seen repairs, and other causes frequently 
prevented WSA from making deliveries as 
planned. If the vessels so delayed were nu- 
merous, decision whether to eliminate them 
or hold the convoy was made after consulta- 
tion between the Transportation Corps, 
which had knowledge of the theater's cargo 
requirements, and the Navy, which knew 
the general convoy and escort situation. 
Army port commanders were urged to begin 
loading vessels promptly and to proceed as 
rapidly as possible, even though the convoy 
sailing date allowed more than enough time, 
because of possible interruptions due to 

v -- Memo, BPE for OCT, 1 5 Oct 43, and sub- 
sequent correspondence illustrates scheduling plan 
used at Boston, OCT 565.2 Boston Geog File. 

weather, labor shortage, or other unfore- 
seen circumstances. The matter of getting up 
to a half million tons of cargo to the sea- 
board in sufficient time to complete the 
loading of a convoy, but without port con- 
gestion and in accordance with priorities 
established by the theaters, required careful 
planning and strict control on the part of 
the Transportation Corps. 123 

For several months after General Gross 
was designated Chief of Transportation in 
March 1942, the Army's arrangements with 
the Navy regarding convoys were made by 
his Operations Officer. In June 1942, con- 
voy procedures having become somewhat 
stabilized, the Navy was informed that 
although long-range schedules still would 
be co-ordinated by the Operations Officer 
(later known as Director of Operations), 
the final and detailed arrangements there- 
after would be made by the chief of the 
Water Division. 124 The latter official found 
it convenient to utilize the Transportation 
Corps' permanent liaison officer with the 
Navy as his agent in negotiations with the 
convoy and routing section. That procedure 
continued throughout the war so far as 
cargo convoys were concerned. Troopship 
convoys eventually became the special 
interest of the Movements Division, which 

123 See summary of cargo shipped to North 
Africa up to UGS— 12, in binder labeled Miscel- 
laneous Shipping Information, p. 75 ; see also an- 
alysis of certain convoys, pp. 63—70, OCT HB 
Ping Div Gen; see also file OCT HB Wylie UG 

124 Memo, Opns Off OCT for Dir NTS, 7 Jun 
42, sub: Arrangements for Escorts, OCT HB 
Meyer Staybacks; C of Water Div OCT for Dir 
NTS, 8 Jun 42, OCT HB Topic Convoy and 
Routing; Memo Convs, author with Maj W. E. 
Nowell, formerly with Ocean Traf Br of Water 
Div, and Lt Col H, H. Naughton, formerly C of 
Convoy and Scheduling Br of Mvmts Div, 6 May 
48, OCT HB Topic Convoy and Routing. 



as a rule made its arrangements directly 
with the appropriate Navy officials. 123 

While the basic arrangements were made 
in Washington, details pertaining to the 
organization and dispatch of convoys were 
worked out by the Navy port directors in 
conjunction with the Army port com- 
manders and the local representatives of 
the War Shipping Administration and the 
British Ministry of War Transport. 120 Army 
port commanders were responsible for see- 
ing that the masters and chief radio opera- 
tors of vessels under Army control attended 
the meetings held by the Navy port directors 
prior to convoy sailings, at which instruc- 
tions regarding operations and informa- 
tion for their guidance were given. 127 

There is abundant evidence from the 
Army standpoint that after the shortage of 
escort vessels had been overcome and the 
procedures for organizing and escorting 
convoys had been improved through ex- 
perience, the Navy's convoy system worked 
smoothly and effectively. 128 In short, the 
Navy made every effort to meet the Army's 
requirements, within the limitations im- 
posed by the means at its disposal and its 
technical standards. 

'- 3 The Director of Operations and his staff had 
a key position in convoy matters throughout the war, 
and in recommending Col. Richard D. Meyer, 
Deputy Director of Operations, for Legion of 
Merit General Gross cited his outstanding service 
in this connection. See Memo for TAG, 19 Feb 45, 
OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 

189 Memo, Asst Navy Port Dir NY for Hist Off 
NYPE, 18 Sep 42; Telg, CofT for Army port 
comdrs, 28 Mar 43. Both in OCT HB Topic 
Convoy and Routing. 

127 Memo, CofT for Army port comdrs, 1 1 Mar 
43, OCT 045.4 Navy. 

1 - s Memo, CofT for COMINCH, 1 1 Feb 44, sub: 
Commendation — Comdr W. R. Edsall, and Ind by 
Gen Somervell, OCT HB Meyer Staybacks; OCT 
HB Monograph 30, p. 171: Convs, author with 
Nowell and Naughton, cited j n, 124.| 

Relations with the British Ministry of 
War Transport 

The necessity of pooling American and 
British shipping was recognized as soon as 
the United States entered the war. A report 
of the Joint U.S. -British Planning Com- 
mittee to the heads of the two governments, 
at the beginning of their conferences in 
Washington in December 1941, stated: 
"No major overseas operations can be per- 
formed by the United States unless adequate 
shipping is immediately made available for 
preparation as troop transports." 129 
Although the most urgent immediate need 
was for vessels with which to reinforce the 
Southwest Pacific, it was realized that long- 
range planning was necessary in order that 
the fullest combined use of shipping for all 
purposes might be obtained. 

Ocean transport unquestionably was one 
of the major "services" contemplated for 
exchange under the British Master Agree- 
ment which was executed on 23 February 
1942 to implement the Lend-Lease Act of 
11 March 1941. 13u It was a two-way ex- 
change from the beginning, each side con- 
tributing vessels which were physically well- 
adapted or suitably located to fulfill specific 
requirements in a common cause. In this 
exchange the British gave the more heavily 
of troop-carrying capacity, because of the 

129 Arcadia Proceedings, An. 1, p. 2, 26 Dec 41 ; 
CMTC 3d Mtg, Item 9, 3 Mar 42. 

130 The President's Seventh Report to Congress 
on Lend-Lease Operations, App. V, Arts. I and II, 
December 11, 1942. After extensive negotiations 
regarding a troop transport loaning agreement the 
U.S. and British Governments decided early in 
1943 not to enter into formal agreement but to 
allow the principles of reciprocal aid to be worked 
out as occasion might require. See communications, 
British Embassy Washington to Secy State, 9 Feb 
43 ; Secy State to SW, 1 Mar 43 ; SW to Secy State, 
12 Mar 43. All in OCT 092.2 Loan of Troop 



assignment of their largest passenger liners 
to the service of the U.S. Army in the North 
Atlantic, and the United States gave the 
more heavily of cargo-carrying capacity, by 
virtue of its tremendous freighter and tanker 
construction programs. In addition to trans- 
portation, the lend-lease and reciprocal aid 
(reverse lend-lease) agreements covered all 
expenses, except pay and allowances to 
crews, incurred by vessels of either nation 
in the ports of the other nation, or in 
other approved areas. 131 Under the so-called 
knock-for-knock agreement each govern- 
ment waived all claims against the other on 
account of loss or damage of vessels or 
cargo due to the acts of the other govern- 
ment or its agents. 132 

The American pool of ships which 
functioned under the control of the War 
Shipping Administration and the British 
pool under the control of the British 
Ministry of War Transport included many 
vessels of other nationalities. Germany, 
which had substantially aided the Allies in 
World War I by allowing many of her best 
ships to be interned in United States ports 
at the outbreak of hostilities, was careful 
not to make a similar mistake in September 
1939. Italy and Japan also arranged to have 
the bulk of their merchant shipping in safe 

131 Rad, International Div ASF to oversea com- 
mands, 8 Feb 44, CM-OUT 4488; Memo, TAG 
for CG's of Theaters, etc., 16 Jun 44; AG 400.3295 
(13 Jun 44), sub: Services Furnished for Army 
Transports as Reciprocal Aid in British Colonial 
Ports and other Approved Areas. Last two in OCT 
120 Reverse Lend-Lease, Sec. 2. 

132 Agreement between the Government of the 
United States of America and the Government of 
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North 
Ireland, 4 Dec 42, OCT HB Topic British Ship- 
ping. For negotiations leading up to this agree- 
ment, see OCT files 092.2 Loan of Troop Trans- 
ports, 092.2 Knock for Knock— England, 092.2 
Knock for Knock — Misc. Similar agreements were 
made between the U.S. and other United Nations. 

ports or on the high seas when they entered 
the war. But a substantial part of the 
French, Belgian, Dutch, Danish, Nor- 
wegian, Polish, and Greek merchant 
marines escaped Axis seizure when those 
countries were invaded, and served the 
cause of the United Nations thereafter, 
mostly under British control. 113 Victory in 
North Africa brought additional French 
shipping under Allied control. When Italy 
surrendered, a limited number of vessels 
which had escaped complete destruction 
while in Axis service, or had been interned 
in neutral ports, became available. The 
small amount of German shipping which 
was afloat when that nation capitulated 
was acquired by the Allies, but too late to 
be of use in the war against Japan. 

The extent of the assistance which the 
United States should receive from the 
British shipping pool and the amount of 
shipping aid which the British should re- 
ceive from the United States were matters 
which received constant attention from the 
Combined Shipping Adjustment Board, a 
civilian agency concerned with all aspects 
of the subject, and the Combined Military 
Transportation Committee, concerned pri- 
marily with military movements. The utili- 
zation of shipping invariably was considered 
at the conferences between the President 
and the Prime Minister, at which the above 
agencies were represented. There frequently 
were differences of opinion between the 

133 Study prepared by Div of Economics and 
Statistics, U.S. Mar Com, as of 30 Sep 42, pub- 
lished in ASF MPR Sec. 3, Dec 42, pp. 15-27, 
indicates that of 25,790,000 DWT of shipping 
under direct British control, 6,165,000 DWT were 
of foreign flag, including 2,700,000 DWT Nor- 
wegian, 1,450,000 DWT Dutch, and 1,025,000 
DWT Greek; of 14,383,000 DWT under U.S. 
control, 2,000,000 DWT were of foreign flag, in- 
cluding more than 1,000,000 DWT Panamanian 
and 350,000 DWT Dutch. 



civilian and the military authorities, or 
between the British and the American rep- 
resentatives, and final decision rested with 
the heads of the two governments. Such 
decisions seldom were arrived at easily 
since both sides were plagued with short- 
ages, but through a free exchange of in- 
formation it generally was possible to find 
what seemed to be the most practical 
adjustment in the interest of the Allied 
war effort. 

The most persistent difference of opinion 
was over the shipping requirements of the 
British import program, which were par- 
tially met with American vessels. Although 
that program had been severely cut, Ameri- 
can representatives on the Combined Mili- 
tary Transportation Committee repeatedly 
pressed for further withdrawals of shipping 
in order that the vessels might be assigned 
to strictly military missions. 134 This lengthy 
argument was highlighted by a misunder- 
standing at the Casablanca Conference in 
January 1943, when an agreement between 
General Somervell and Lord Leathers, 
Minister of War Transport and British 
member of the London branch of the Com- 
bined Shipping Adjustment Board, which 
the former understood to assure additional 
vessels for forthcoming American military 
undertakings, was found to be without "a 
complete meeting of minds," so that the 

131 CCS 74th Mtg, Item 2, 5 Mar 43 ; CMTC, 61st 
Mtg, Item 1, 15 Mar 43; Memo, Gross for Marshall, 
1 7 Mar 43, sub: Review of UN Shipping, OCT HB 
Wylie Shipping Requirements and Allocations 1 943 ; 
CMTC, 93d Mtg, Item 1, 12 Jan 45; Memo, CG 
ASF for CofS USA, 30 Mar 45, sub: CCS 746/13, 
OCT HB Gross Day File; CCS 746/14, 3 Apr 45; 
see also Memo, Harry Hopkins for Lewis W. 
Douglas WSA, 28 Apr 43, OCT HB Gross WSA; 
Ltr, WSA to CofT, 2 Oct 44, OCT HB Gross 
WSA; Ltr, Acting SW to Secy State, 16 Dec 44, 
ASF Hq British 1944. For British view see Han- 
cock and Gowing, British War Economy pp. 

entire situation had to be reviewed after 
the conference. 135 

The more exacting problems in con- 
nection with this combined use of shipping 
concerned troop transports, particularly the 
larger and faster vessels which ran without 
escorts and were moved freely from route 
to route according to the urgency of the 
needs. Among the vessels of this type in 
the British pool were the British liners 
Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Aquitania, 
Mauretania, Empress of Scotland, and 
Andes, the French He de France and 
Pasteur, and the Dutch Nieuiv Amsterdam. 
Among the larger American troop carriers 
were the Navy-operated West Point, Wake- 
field, Mount Vernon, Monticello, and 
Hermitage; the Army-operated George 
Washington and Edmund B. Alexander; 
the Argentina, Brazil, John Ericsson, Lur- 
line, Mariposa, Monterey, and Uruguay, 
which were operated by agents of the War 
Shipping Administration; and the war- 
built, Navy-operated "Admirals" and 
"Generals" (P-2 type). 130 The Movements 
Division in the Office of the Chief of Trans- 
portation and the British Ministry of War 
Transport maintained a running exchange 
of information regarding the scheduling of 
these and other troopships, and kept each 
other fully informed regarding prospective 
changes of sailing dates, changes in space 
requirements, lay-ups for repairs, and other 

135 Ltr, CofT to WSA, 27 Feb 43, OCT HB 
Gross WSA ; Ltr, Sir Arthur Salter, British mem- 
ber of CSAB in Washington, to CG SOS, 9 Mar 
43, and Reply, 12 Mar 43, ASF Hq British 
1942-43; Ltr, WSA to CofT, 13 Mar 43, OCT HB 
Gross WSA ; Memo, CofS USA for Harry Hopkins, 
22 Mar 43, OCS 570, 1943. 

15B Troops Transports in Service (British Doc), 
30 Sep 45, OCT HB Mvmts Div British Files; 
Troop Ships by Speed Class, 8 Nov 43, prepared 
in Mvmts Div OCT, OCT HB PE Gen Transport 

LARGEST TROOPSHIPS AFLOAT. The Queen Mary (top) and Queen Eliza- 
beth (bottom), operated under the control of the British Ministry of War Transport, 
carried between 14,000 and 15,000 troops on each of many trips. 



matters affecting the movement and utiliza- 
tion of the vessels. 137 

During the heavy movement of troops to 
the European theater almost the entire 
space on eastbound transatlantic British 
sailings was assigned to the U.S. Army. 
About 21 percent of the troops embarked 
at U.S. ports throughout the war were 
embarked on vessels under the control of 
the British Ministry of War Transport; 
during the year 1944 the percentage was 
28.2. 138 

The Queen Mary and the Queen Eliza- 
beth, because of their great size and speed, 
were of utmost importance in the movement 
of American troops. After a brief period 
of service in the Pacific, they served mainly 
in the North Atlantic despite the submarine 
menace. General Gross naturally was desir- 
ous of having them carry the maximum 
numbers, and this was accomplished by 
degrees. In February 1942, when the Queen 
Mary first embarked American troops in 
the Pacific, her capacity was about 8,200. 
The President then was reluctant to place 
so many men on a single ship, but approved 
an urgent recommendation of the Army 
that this be done, because of the extreme 
need of troop lift to Australia. 139 By April 
the capacities of the Queen Mary and the 
Queen Elizabeth had been increased to 

137 Much of the correspondence is in OCT HB 
Mvmts Div British Files; see also Memo, ACofT 
for CofT, 23 Apr 43, regarding use of U.S. troop- 
ships to move 17,000 British troops in convoy to 
Capetown, OCT HB Meyer Staybacks. 

138 Allocation List, issued periodically by British 
Army Staff, Washington, OCT HB Mvmts Div 
British Files; Monograph, Col. M. B. Stokes, Jr., 
Shipping in War, 22 Mar 46, p. 7, OCT HB 
Logistics Gen; Monthly Rpt, Mvmts Div, Classi- 
fication of Outbound Passengers, Management Div 

139 Memo, CofS USA for ACofS G-4, 3 Feb 42, 

9,500 and 10,500, respectively. 140 General 
Gross was of the opinion that American 
methods of troop fitting should be applied 
so that the vessels could carry about 
1 5,000.' 41 The British did not at once fall in 
with the idea, but further negotiation re- 
sulted in agreement and during the summer 
months the "Queens" frequently carried 
passengers approximating that number on 
transatlantic voyages. 112 

Vessels of the British pool which were as- 
signed to the transportation of American 
troops were inspected in the same manner as 
American troopships by personnel from the 
Army ports of embarkation, representing 
the Port Inspector, the Port Surgeon, and 
the Superintendent of the Army Transport 
Service (later called the Water Division). 143 
The U.S. Coast Guard, which was charged 
with enforcement of the U.S. vessel in- 
spection laws and regulations, assigned a 
representative to the Army port of embarka- 
tion at New York to serve as a member of 
the inspection team. Inspections were made 
as soon as practicable after the ships arrived 

140 Memo, CG SOS for CofS USA, 25 Apr 42, 
OCT HB Meyer Staybacks; Rad, British Army 
Staff to War Office, 27 Apr 42, OCT HB British 

m Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 19 Jun 42, ASF 
Hq British 1942-43. 

143 Memo, CG SOS for CofT, 1 Jul 42, ASF Hq 
Trans 1942: Notes on mtg at BMWT New York, 
6 Jul 42, OCT HB Wylie British; Rad, CG SOS to 
CG SOS ETOUSA, 30 Aug 42, CM-OUT 9329, 
OCT 370.5 England; War Office Instructions, 30 
Aug 45, OCT HB Mvmts Div British Files. 

" 3 Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 30 Jun 42, ASF 
Hq Trans 1942; Memo, British Army Staff for 
OCT (Wylie), 13 Oct 42, and Reply, 17 Nov 42; 
Memo, CofT for all port comdrs, 17 Nov 42, sub: 
Prevoyage Insp of Vessels; Memo, British Army 
Staff for OCT (Wylie), 11 Dec 42. Last four in 
OCT 333.7 Prevoyage Insp of Vessels. Memo, 
ACofT (Wylie) for BAS, 25 Nov 43, sub: SS Em- 
pire Battleax, OCT 000.900 Empire Battleax. 



at U.S. ports, in order to allow full time 
for the correction of any deficiencies that 
might be reported, and the Chief of Trans- 
portation requested that the British Ministry 
of War Transport assign a representative 
to the inspection team with authority to 
take immediate action on such deficiencies. 

There naturally were differences of 
equipment and service as between British 
and American troopships. These differences 
led to American complaints against British 
vessels and British complaints against 
American vessels. Sometimes the complaints 
were initiated by inspectors at the ports 
and sometimes by military personnel which 
traveled on the ships. 144 Requests for im- 
provements following such complaints were 
delaying and sometimes led to unnecessary 
expense. Discussion of this subject in the 
Combined Military Transportation Com- 
mittee resulted in agreement that minimum 
standards should be established, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to study the matter. 
The committee listed what it considered to 
be acceptable conditions on American and 
British vessels, respectively, and recom- 
mended that when the conditions on a 
particular ship equalled the applicable 
minimum standards, they be considered 
satisfactory and the other nation refrain 
from requesting further alterations. 145 These 
recommendations were approved by 
CMTC, and accepted by the British 
Ministry of War Transport and the War 
Shipping Administration, and the resultant 
agreement greatly simplified this problem. 

144 See CMTC 77th Mtg, Item 1, 30 Dec 43; 
Memo, Comdr ESF for COMINCH, 16 Feb 43, 
OCS 570, 1943; Memo, CofT for NYPE and 
BPE, 24 Feb 43; 1st Ind, CofT for NYPE, 27 Oct 
43; Memo, Mvmts Div OCT for Mil Pers Div ASF, 
10 Nov 44. Last three in OCT HB Farr Staybacks. 

145 Rpt on Minimum Standards, 14 Jan 44, OCT 
HB Wylie Vessels Gen; CMTC, 82d Mtg, 18 Feb 
44; CMTC, 87th Mtg, 25 May 44. 

The furnishing of transportation on 
American and British vessels to the other 
nation under lend-lease and reverse lend- 
lease involved many questions of eligibility 
and procedure, particularly as regards 
passenger traffic, and the rules were worked 
out in considerable detail. The persons 
eligible for transportation under the mutual 
aid plan were denned as members of any 
branch of the armed forces of either govern- 
ment when traveling under orders, civilians 
operating as an integral part of such armed 
forces when traveling under orders, mem- 
bers of the merchant marine and civilian 
crews of vessels operated by the armed 
forces of either government when traveling 
under orders, prisoners of war and their 
escorts, and Red Cross personnel moving 
to or from service with the armed forces. 148 
All U.S. Army requests for transportation 
on British vessels sailing from ports of the 
continental United States were made to the 
British Ministry of War Transport by the 
Movements Division in the Office of the 
Chief of Transportation. 

Following the invasion of the Continent, 
with the liberation of the western European 
countries in prospect, the continued use of 
the shipping of those countries in support 
of the far-flung Allied war effort was a 
matter of great importance, especially to 
the United States because of commitments 
in the Pacific. In August 1944 an "Agree- 
ment on Principles," sponsored by the 
Combined Shipping Adjustment Board, 

146 Administrative Arrangement, between U.S. 
and UK, 22 Dec 42, OCT HB Mvmts Div Trans 
Under Lend-Lease ; WD Memo 55-44, 29 Aug 
44, sub: Ocean Trans of Pers. The rules were 
retroactive to the beginning of lend-lease and re- 
ciprocal aid. Transportation under lend-lease for 
personnel of governments other than British was 
available on U.S. troopships only to the members 
of the armed forces of such governments and civil- 
ians operating with the armed forces. 



gave assurance that the shipping under the 
authority of the recognized governments of 
France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, 
Poland, and Greece, as well as that of the 
United Kingdom, Canada, and the United 
States, would continue to be available to 
carry on the war in Europe and the Far 
East. 147 

General Gross believed that this agree- 
ment, together with an informal British- 
American understanding, also assured the 
utilization of any captured German vessels 
for the movement of Allied troops. 148 The 
matter was not finally determined, how- 
ever, until the Potsdam Conference in July 
1945, at which time it was agreed that the 
seven usable passenger vessels which had 
been surrendered by Germany would be 
employed by the United States as troop- 
ships until the end of 1945. In view of the 
early termination of the war against Japan 
and the length of time needed for the re- 
habilitation of those vessels, the U.S. Chiefs 
of Staff recommended in September that 
only two of the seven be employed as troop 
transports. These two, the former German 
liner Europa and the Vulcania, which 
originally flew the Italian flag, were used 
for a short time in the repatriation of 
American troops from Europe. 

The U.S. Army also took early steps to 
forestall withdrawal of foreign vessels from 
U.S. military service immediately after the 
termination of hostilities, in order to avoid 
delay in the repatriation of American 

147 JCS Memo for Info 261, App. A, 7 Jul 44, 
sub: Continuance of Coordinated Contl of Mer- 
chant Shipping; Rpt of the UN Maritime Authority 
Ping Com, London, Sep-Oct 44, OCT HB Topic 

148 Memo, CofT for CG ASF, 4 Sep 44, sub: 
Employment of Captured German Passenger Ships, 
ASF Hq Shipping 1944; CCS 900/3, par. 20, 24 
Jul 45 ; CCS 679/ 14, 28 Sep 45. 

troops. 149 General Gross was desirous not 
only that the British and other foreign flag 
transports should continue in troop service 
but that they should remain under the con- 
trol of the Combined Chiefs of Staff and 
available for both American and British 
military movements. The British Ministry 
of War Transport did not agree on the 
latter point, and a British spokesman on 
the Combined Military Transport Com- 
mittee stated that this was a question which 
would have to be settled between the Prime 
Minister and the President. 

No definitive agreement on this subject 
had been reached by V-E Day, but the dis- 
cussion was revived soon thereafter. Early 
in June 1945 the U.S. Army requested the 
British to reconsider their reallocation of 
westbound troop space for that month, an 
allocation which greatly reduced the 
amount available to Americans returning 
from Europe and increased that assigned 
to Canadian personnel. This was followed 
by a War Office announcement that the 
Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth, and the 
Aquitania would be devoted to the trans- 
portation of U.S. troops from British ports 
up to the end of 1945. The United States 
agreed to allocate ten Victory-type and two 
other small troopships to the British in 
partial compensation. 150 

149 Memo, CG ASF for CofT, 18 Apr 44, ASF Hq 
Trans 1944; CMTC 86th Mtg, Item 1, 5 May 44; 
88th Mtg, Item 2, 1 Jun 44; 89th Mtg, Item 2, 
15 Jun 44; 91st Mtg, Item 3, 14 Jul 44. 

150 Ltr, CG ASF to War Office, London, 2 Jun 
45, ASF Hq Trans 1945; Memo, British Army 
Staff Washington for C of Mvmts Div OCT (Farr) 
et al., 25 Jun 45, and atchd War Office Directive, 
Jun 45, OCT HB Mvmts Div British Files. Other 
British troopships in British pool were allocated to 
transport British Empire personnel. See Trans- 
Atlantic Sailings and Allocations (British ships), 
Aug and Sep-Oct 45, OCT HB Mvmts Div British 
Files; CCS 679/7, 19 Jul 45. 



Early in October 1945 the Prime 
Minister informed the President that he 
would be unable to justify to the British 
public the further use of their biggest ships 
for U.S. troop repatriation unless an 
"equivalent lift" could be provided for 
British use. 151 There was a difference of 
opinion as to what would constitute an 
equivalent lift, and General Gross stated 
that he would prefer to release the large 
British liners, which were available only 
for the North Atlantic, rather than give up 
the services of the number of smaller and 
more flexible ships which the British 
desired. 152 The Joint Chiefs of Staff then 
agreed that only one of the three British 
vessels (the Queen Mary subsequently was 
designated) should continue in U.S. re- 
patriation service and that the other two 
should be released. 153 In December arrange- 
ments were made for further use of the 
westbound voyages of the Queen Mary until 
April 1946, primarily to carry British war 
brides of American soldiers and their chil- 
dren to the United States, and for the ten 
U.S. Victory ships to continue in British 
service for a like period. 154 

The extensive use which the Americans 
and the British made of each other's ship- 
ping necessitated hour-to-hour collabora- 
tion between the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation, the British Army Staff in 
Washington, and the representatives of the 
British Ministry of War Transport in New 

151 Msg, 3 Oct 45, published in JMT 72/11, 5 
Oct 45, Incl B. 

152 CMTC, 94th Mtg, Item 2, 6 Oct 45. 
1S3 JCS 1539/1, 16 Oct 45, approved 23 Oct 45. 
154 CCS 679/18, 21 Dec 45; CCS 679/19, 15 

Jan 46; Memo, CofT for OPD VVDGS, 25 Jan 46, 
OCT HB Farr Staybacks. Later it was arranged that 
the Queen Mary should carry dependents of U.S. 
soldiers on one westbound voyage in May and 
that U.S. troopships surplus to Army needs should 
help with the British repatriation task. CCS 679/20, 
21, 22, 23. 

York. In order to facilitate such collabora- 
tion and the exchange of pertinent informa- 
tion, a British officer was assigned to OCT 
to serve as liaison for BAS and BMWT. 
Since troopships and troop movements were 
his principal concern, that officer occupied 
a desk in the Movements Division. Colonels 
R. Bramwell Davis, LI. Wansbrough- Jones, 
W. B. N. Roderick, and G. J. G. Fisher 
alternately held the assignment. The ar- 
rangement worked out very satisfactorily 
to the Chief of Transportation. Col. Donald 
E. Farr, the head of his Movements Divi- 
sion, in a report on lessons learned from 
the war, contrasted the smoothness with 
which personnel movements were handled 
between the British and American offices 
with the less felicitous manner in which 
movements of the troops of other Allies 
were accomplished on American ships, be- 
cause of the lack of a similar liaison ar- 
rangement. 155 

On the operating level, close collabora- 
tion was necessary between the U.S. Army 
ports of embarkation and representatives of 
the British Ministry of War Transport at 
the ports. This was especially true at New 
York where the head American office of 
BMWT was located and where the larger 
British troopships were loaded and dis- 
charged. Differences in methods of handling 
ships and troops necessitated adjustments on 
both sides, and the embarkation of as many 
as 14,000 troops within a few hours called 
for the closest possible co-ordination. As the 
war progressed and experience was gained 
the British-American co-operation at the 
water front reached a high level of smooth- 
ness and speed. 

155 Ltr, Wansbrough- Jones to CG ASF, 20 Jun 43, 
OCT HB Gross UK; Memo, C of Mvmts Div for 
Exec Off OCT (Finlay), par. 6, 19 Sep 45, sub: 
Lessons Learned, OCT HB Mvmts Div Gen. 


Operation of the Army's 
Large and Small Vessels 

Although, as indicated in the preceding 
chapter, the Army operated only a small 
percentage of the ocean-going vessels which 
it utilized, the Army-operated fleet was a 
big and varied one in comparison with 
peacetime commercial fleets. On 1 August 
1945 there were 186 vessels of this class 
(1,000 tons gross or larger) under full 
Army management. These vessels were 
manned, supplied, maintained, altered, and 
scheduled by the Transportation Corps. On 
the same date the Transportation Corps 
had differing degrees of operating responsi- 
bility for more than 12,000 smaller boats. 
It is with these two groups of vessels that 
this chapter is concerned primarily. 

Of the 186 ocean-going vessels operated 
by the Transportation Corps on 1 August 
1945, 40 were owned by the Army, 144 
were under bareboat charter to the Army, 
and 2 were loaned by the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration. 1 Among these vessels were 51 
Army transports (troopships and cargo 
ships), 26 hospital ships, 55 interisland 
vessels, 17 floating warehouses, 12 repair 
ships, 7 spare parts depot ships, 2 cable 
ships, 1 news transmission ship, and 15 
training ships. Of the total, 89 were assigned 

1 AG 560 (3 Aug 45) OB-S-SPTWO-M, 13 
Aug 45, sub: Monthly List of U.S. Army Trans- 
ports, etc.; AR 55-515, par 4, 1 Sep 42, sub: 
TG Charters of Vessels; AR 55-305, 10 Oct 42, 
sub: TC Water Trans Gen. 

to ports of embarkation in the zone of 
interior, 4 were undergoing conversion in 
the zone of interior, and 93 were assigned 
to oversea commands. The making of such 
assignments was a responsibility of the Chief 
of Transportation, and transfers between 
ports or between oversea commands re- 
quired his prior approval except in emer- 
gencies. The Chief of Transportation dele- 
gated the control of assignments and 
reassignments to the chief of his Water 

In August 1942 when the Army owned 
or had under bareboat charter about 75 
ocean-going vessels, General Gross expressed 
the opinion that advantages would be 
gained by having a larger number of 
vessels under Army operation. 2 The ad- 
vantages which he envisioned were faster 
turnarounds, greater secrecy, better control 
of crews and greater familiarity of the crews 
with their vessels. He believed that the War 
Shipping Administration could place a 
greater number of ships under Army op- 
eration without prejudice to the plan of 
maintaining a flexible national pool of 
shipping under WSA control. But while the 
number of Army-operated ocean-going 
vessels increased somewhat as the war pro- 
gressed, WSA met the expanding mili- 

- Memo for Gen Somervell, 25 Aug 42, sub: 
Action to Improve WD .Water Trans, OCT HB 
Gross Day File. 



tary need chiefly by allocating vessels to 
the Army on a voyage basis and operating 
them through its own agents. In following 
this practice WSA was acting in accordance 
with a policy laid down by the President in 
February 1941 and with principles dis- 
cussed by Admiral Land, who was the War 
Shipping Administrator and the American 
representative on the Washington branch 
of the Combined Shipping Adjustment 
Board, and Sir Arthur Salter, the British 
member, soon after CSAB was established. 1 
Military, naval, and civilian personnel 
were used in operating the Army's ocean- 
going vessels. With the possible exception of 
a few ships assigned to oversea theaters and 
concerning which full information is not 
available, the crews on these vessels were 
civilians, divided into the usual deck, 
engine, steward's, and administrative de- 
partments, serving under a civilian master. 4 
The medical staffs were military personnel 
provided by The Surgeon General. The 
armed guards (gun crews) were for the 
most part naval personnel. The signal 
sections which handled radio communica- 
tions embraced military, naval, and civilian 
personnel. In addition, the troop transports 
had military complements under transport 
commanders to deal with passenger mat- 
ters, the cargo transports had cargo security 
officers (later known as ship transportation 
officers), and the floating warehouses, spare 
parts depot ships, and repair ships had 
military personnel to perform the specialized 
tasks for which the ships were equipped. 

3 CSAB 6th Mtg, 25 Mar 42. 

4 Functions defined in AR 55-310, 11 Nov 
44 (Master) ; AR 55-335, 30 Sep 42 (Deck Dept) ; 
AR 55-340, 1 Sep 42 (Engine Dept) ; AR 55-345, 
11 Nov 44 (Steward's Dept) ; AR 55-320, 11 Nov 
44 (Trans Agent or Adm Dept) . 

Civilian Crews on Ocean-Going Vessels 

During peacetime when seamen were 
plentiful the Army Transport Service was 
able to maintain a rather independent posi- 
tion in regard to terms of employment, but 
this condition changed as the United States 
approached a state of war. Rates of pay, 
also manning scales, were subject to ap- 
proval by the Secretary of War. 5 During the 
early emergency period wage increases were 
recommended by The Quartermaster Gen- 
ral as they were found necessary to enable 
the ATS superintendents to obtain crews 
for the growing transport fleet, but they 
lagged behind those granted by civilian 
operators. When civilian operators began 
paying bonuses during the months just prior 
to Pearl Harbor, ATS undertook to do like- 
wise, but because of the complicated bonus 
system and the many areas of Army opera- 
tion there was considerable confusion, and 
full conformity with civilian practices was 
difficult. 7 Payment for overtime, a growing 
practice among civilian operators, could not 
be made on Army vessels without the ap- 
proval of the Secretary of War, and there 
was some uncertainty as to the legal 
authority for such payment. 

There also were differences between 
Army and commercial practices in regard 
to conditions of employment. The Army 

5 OQMG Cir 1-15, 1 Jul 37, pars. 166 and 
167, as amended 23 Feb 39, sub: Regulations 
Governing Civilian Employees. 

" Statement, Gen Gross to Subcom of the Com 
on Appropriations, HR, 79th Cong., Hearings on 
Military Establishment Appropriation Bill for 1946, 
p. 505; Conf, author with Col Alexander Corey, 
26 Mar 48, sub: Crews on Army Transports, OCT 
HB PE Gen Transport Crews. Col Corey dealt 
with these matters in OQMG and later was Chief 
of Industrial Personnel Division, OCT, 

7 Ltr, C of Trans Br G-4 to Secy of Sailors 
Union of the Pacific, 27 Jan 42, OCT HB Wylie 



ran its vessels on an open-shop basis and 
employed union and nonunion men without 
preference. It thoroughly investigated com- 
plaints and endeavored to administer crew 
matters with full justice to the men but 
refused to recognize union grievance com- 
mittees as agencies for adjusting differences 
between masters and crews. From the union 
standpoint these were disadvantages. On 
the other hand, as civil service employees 
the crews on Army transports enjoyed cer- 
tain advantages which were not general in 
the maritime industry, such as those relating 
to annual and sick leave, the benefits of the 
Civil Service Retirement Act, and the 
benefits of the U.S. Employees Compensa- 
tion Act. 8 During the emergency period 
prior to Pearl Harbor, with the Army's 
shipping operations expanding rapidly, the 
seamen's unions complained frequently 
about the disadvantages suffered by their 
members on Army vessels, but they con- 
tinued to give the ports of embarkation 
their full support in the procurement of 

After our entry into the war the unions 
increased their efforts to obtain full accept- 
ance by the Army of the terms and condi- 
tions of employment which were in effect 
with civilian operators. After the establish- 
ment of the Maritime War Emergency 
Board in December 1941, the Army en- 
deavored to conform to the decisions of the 
board regarding bonuses, war risk insur- 
ance, and compensation for loss of personal 
property, and although there was the cus- 
tomary lag in making those decisions effec- 
tive, the unions had no serious cause for 
complaint in such matters. But the Army's 
position on overtime, closed shop, and the 
recognition of grievance committees still 

8 Memo, C of Civ Pers Br OCT for C of Water 
Div OCT, 26 Oct 42, OCT 231.8 Army Vessels. 

gave rise to union complaints, and in August 
1942 a situation arose in the Gulf of 
Mexico which brought the matter to an 
open issue. The New Orleans Port of Em- 
barkation reported that during the process 
of taking over the vessels Yarmouth, Evan- 
geline, and Florida from private operators, 
the crews, which at first appeared satisfied 
with the terms offered by the Army, were 
persuaded by representatives of one of the 
unions to leave the ships. After about a 
week of effort by Army officials some of the 
original crew members returned to the 
vessels, and the remaining positions were 
filled with newly recruited union and non- 
union seamen. 9 

Soon after this incident Mr. Edward F. 
McGrady, labor relations consultant to the 
Secretary of War, called a series of confer- 
ences which were attended by representa- 
tives of General Somervell, General Gross, 
and the unions. While the discussions were 
in progress, General Gross informed Mr. 
McGrady that the Transportation Corps 
was having no difficulty in obtaining crews 
for its vessels under the existing policy and 
urgently recommended that the War De- 
partment continue to adhere to that 
policy. 10 He maintained that the Army 
Transport Service should not change its 
attitude with regard to grievance com- 
mittees, since it had to be free to operate 
its vessels "under strict military control." 
With regard to the unions' demands for the 
payment of overtime, he stated that there 

n Summary of information by Col Franklin 
Kemble G-2 Hq Southern Def Comd, 10 Aug 42; 
Memo, C of Water Div OCT for CofT, 5 Sep 42, 
OCT HB PE Gen Transport Crews; Memos 
within Crewing Office NOPE, Hays for Higgins and 
Higgins for Ederer, 14 Aug 42 ; 1st Ind, Supt ATS 
NOPE for CofT, 15 Aug 42. Last two in OCT 
545.02 Army Vessels. 

10 Memo, 22 Aug 42, sub: Protest of Seafarers 
International Union, OCT 545.02 Army Vessels. 



was "pending legislation" which if enacted 
would enable the Army to promulgate such 
regulations as it might deem necessary on 
the subject. 11 

The result of these conferences was the 
issuance of a statement of War Department 
labor policy for vessels, which had been for- 
mulated in the Services of Supply head- 
quarters and the Office of the Under Secre- 
tary. 12 This document, published at the end 
of October 1942, referred to the vital mis- 
sions which Army transports performed and 
stated: "It is imperative, therefore, that 
factors of military necessity — the need for 
secrecy, the prevention of sabotage, the 
maintenance of strict discipline, the pres- 
ervation of troops and cargo in the best of 
condition, the possibility of participation in 
actual combat — be accorded proper recog- 
nition in the operation of these vessels and 
receive precedence over all other considera- 
tions/' It stated that Army Transport Serv- 
ice employees were free to join or refrain 
from joining employee organizations. It 
gave assurance that the crew of any vessel 
being taken over by the Army would be 
given preference in employment, but stated 
that in the employment of additional crew- 
men "the sources of labor supply normally 
utilized by the War Department" would be 
drawn upon. Suspension on suspicion of 
subversive or other inimical activities 
would be executed summarily under pro- 

11 Bill to authorize payment of overtime had been 
drafted in OCT in June 1942, but Gross had 
decided not to press it then. Memo, Pers Div OCT 
for Water Div OCT, 13 Jun 42, OCT 231.8 Army 
Vessels; Memo, Pers Div OCT of OSW, 27 Jun 
42, sub: Draft of Proposed Overtime Legislation, 
OCT 231.8 Army Vessels; Conf with Corey cited 

12 Memo, CofS SOS for TAG, 29 Oct 42, AG 
570.1 (10-29-42); WD Memo W620-4-42, 31 
Oct 42, sub: WD Labor Policy Governing Vessels 
Operated by W D, in A G 570.1 (10-29-42); Conf 
with Corey cited |n. 6T| 

cedures established by the Secretary of 
War, but the employees involved would 
be accorded opportunity for review of their 
cases. Discharges for other forms of mis- 
conduct would be reviewed upon request 
to the responsible Army official within a 
reasonable period. Grievances would be 
adjusted and disputes settled upon the ter- 
mination of voyages in continental ports of 
the United States, and mass meetings and 
the formation of committees on board were 
prohibited. Noncompliance with orders of 
the ship's master, or infraction of laws relat- 
ing to conduct aboard, would be considered 
grounds for discharge or other appropriate 
disciplinary action as provided for by statute 
or regulation. The prevailing basis of com- 
pensation in the industry would be observed 
on all vessels operated by the War Depart- 
ment, including emergency and overtime 
wages, war bonuses, and repatriation and 
allotment conditions, effective 1 November 

This statement of policy met the more 
critical points of the unions' complaints. 
However, early in January 1943 a state- 
ment was filed by the National Maritime 
Union with the Under Secretary alleging 
that, with the exception of review of dis- 
charge cases, the provisions of the policy 
had not gone into effect. 13 After investiga- 
tion, the Water Division reported that, con- 
trary to the allegation, the policy had been 
in full force and effect, except in regard to 
overtime wages. The report stated that the 
preparation of regulations governing the 
payment of overtime on Army vessels op- 
erating in all parts of the world had re- 
quired extensive study, but that records had 

13 Ltr, Vice Pres NMU to USW, 7 Jan 43; 
Memos, DC of Water Div OCT for ACofT for 
Opns (Wylie), 14 and 18 Jan 43. All in OCT 
231.8 Army Vessels (10-31-42). 



been kept since 1 November 1942 and any 
regulations issued subsequently would be 
made retroactive to that date. A ruling of 
the Comptroller General was considered 
necessary before overtime could be paid 
legally, but Maj. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer, 
Acting Commanding General, Services of 
Supply, gave oral direction that overtime 
payments be started without waiting for 
such a ruling. The pertinent regulations 
were issued immediately by the Chief of 
Transportation. 14 The payment of overtime 
on Army transports was legalized a few 
months later by the War Overtime Pay Act 
of 1943. 15 

During the remainder of the war the rela- 
tions of the Transportation Corps and the 
seamen's unions were on a mutually co- 
operative basis. There were problems of a 
local nature, but no serious threats of strikes 
or other crises. When the rapid increase in 
the merchant fleet, the competition of less 
hazardous jobs ashore, and the operation 
of the Selective Service Act made the task 
of obtaining full crews increasingly difficult, 
the unions, when called upon, provided men 
to the extent of their ability. 10 The relations 
between the Transportation Corps and the 
organizations of licensed marine officers also 
were orderly throughout the war, and there 
were no serious disputes or strikes. 

In July 1944 a further statement of labor 
policy governing vessels operated by the 
War Department was issued to supplement 

14 Conf with Corey cited |n. 6;| CPRTC 20-80, 
23 Jan 43, sub: Overtime Compensation for Crew- 
Members of Transport Class Boats. Overtime 
regulations for crew members of harbor and 
interisland boats were issued separately on the same 

15 PL 49, 78th Cong., Sec. 13, 7 May 43. 

"'Memo, C of Water Div OCT for DCofT 
(Fra nklin fo r Dillon) 25 Apr 42; Conf with Corey 
cited In. 6, 1 Both in OCT HB PE Gen Transport 

and amplify the statement of October 
1942. 17 It then was announced that marine 
personnel regulations to implement the ap- 
proved policies would be issued by the Chief 
of Transportation and that thereafter the 
regular civilian personnel regulations would 
not apply to seamen unless they specifically 
so provided. A volume of Marine Personnel 
Regulations, in which was assembled all 
rules relating to the subject, was published 
concurrently "for the information and guid- 
ance of all War Department installations 
charged with responsibility for civilian ma- 
rine personnel engaged on vessels operated 
by and under the jurisdiction of the Chief 
of Transportation." 1S The policies and pro- 
cedures were "indorsed to commanding of- 
ficers outside the continental limits of the 
United States for adoption." It is not pos- 
sible to review the many provisions of these 
voluminous regulations. Certain sections 
will be referred to, however, in the follow- 
ing discussion of a number of matters which 
were basic to the Army's plan of operating 

Although the officers and crews of Army 
vessels were civil service employees, practi- 
cal considerations, particularly during war- 
time, dictated that certain of the civil serv- 
ice requirements be relaxed. Such positions 
were not subject to the Classification Act 
of 1923, but were ungraded, so that the 
Chief of Transportation was free to adjust 
wages and overtime payments to the levels 
prevailing in the industry. The Civil Service 
Commission, at first informally and then 
formally, agreed to exempt this personnel 

17 WD Civ Pers Cir 80, 17 Jul 44, sub: Policy 
Governing Marine Pers Adm. 

18 TC Pamphlet 4, 1 Jul 44, sub: Marine Pers 
Reg, OCT HB Ind Pers Div Civ Marine Pers. The 
regulations covered both transports and small boats ; 
they were subject to frequent revision as conditions 



from the requirements of competitive exam- 
ination and approval by the commission 
prior to appointment. 19 

In accordance with maritime practice, 
the Marine Personnel Regulations provided 
that crew members sign the ship's articles 
at the beginning of each voyage, thus plac- 
ing themselves under contract for the round 
voyage. 20 But provision was made also for 
individual contracts with masters, officers, 
and men of unlicensed ratings who were 
engaged for longer periods of duty, as was 
necessary in the case of vessels permanently 
assigned for service within the oversea com- 
mands. Individual contracts were used 
more extensively in engaging crews for 
harbor boats and interisland vessels than 
for transports, and therefore they will be 
discussed in a later section of this chapter. 

Authorized crew strengths, or manning 
scales, were established by authority of the 
Chief of Transportation. 21 They were based 
on requests made by the ports of em- 
barkation or the oversea commands to 
which the vessels were assigned, on study 
and recommendation by the Water Divi- 
sion, and on final approval by the Indus- 
trial Personnel Division. 22 Manning scales 
could not be changed without the approval 

18 Marine Pers Reg, pars. 11.1, 31.2; Hist rpt, 
Ind Pers Div OCT FY 1945, p. 2, OCT HB Ind 
Pers Div Gen. 

20 Marine Pers Reg, pars. 32.2, 32.3. 

21 Marine Pers Reg, par. 11.2; see TC Cir 80-4, 
1 Jan 44, sub: Standard Crew Strength for C-2 
and C— 3 Type Freight Vessels. Numbers of 
authorized jobs on transports and hospital ships 
are given in lists attached to Memo, Ind Pers Div 
for Hist Unit OCT, 16 Sep 44, OCT HB Ind Pers 
Div Gen. 

22 Memo, Civ Pers Br Pers Div OCT for OCT 
Historian, 27 Jan 47, OCT HB PE Gen Trans- 
port Crews ; Memo, Water Div OCT for Civ Pers 
Br Pers Div OCT, 27 Jul 43, sub: Manning Scale 
USAT Lakehurst, OCT 000.900 Lakehurst Misc; 
Memo, NYPE for CofT, 30 Oct 43, OCT 231.8 
Army Vessels 1943. 

of the Chief of Transportation except in an 
emergency, in which case the ports and the 
oversea commands were authorized to take 
such immediate action as might be neces- 
sary and afterwards obtain review and con- 
firmation of their action. 23 The practice was 
to allow the ports of embarkation consider- 
able latitude in the exercise of this emer- 
gency power, so that they would not be 
handicapped in meeting unforeseen require- 
ments or be delayed in putting transports to 
sea. The oversea commands required even 
greater freedom in manning the vessels per- 
manently assigned to them, since operating 
conditions in the theaters were less stable, 
but in general they conformed to the prac- 
tices prescribed in Washington. 

Transport personnel was recruited by the 
civilian personnel officers of the ports of 
embarkation, to meet the requirements of 
the vessels for which the ports were respon- 
sible or to fill requisitions submitted by the 
oversea commands and approved by the 
Chief of Transportation. The Transporta- 
tion Corps endeavored to be self-sufficient 
in this respect. Recruitments were made in 
the open market, and only when this 
method fell short of the desired results was 
assistance requested from the Recruitment 
and Manning Organization of the War 
Shipping Administration or the union hir- 
ing halls. Appointments were made by the 
port civilian personnel officers, after ap- 
proval of the appointees by the port water 
divisions which were responsible for the op- 
eration of the vessels. The employment of 
aliens was permissible if they met the tech- 
nical and security requirements. The policy 
was to appoint aliens only when citizen 

23 Marine Pers Reg, par. 11.3; Ltr, C of Water 
Div OCT for CG SPE, 3 Nov 42; Memo, C of 
Water Div OCT for C of Contl Div OCT, 20 Jul 
43, sub: Work Simplification. Both in OCT HB 
PE Gen Transport Crews. 


Marine Officer Cadet School, St. Petersburg, Fla., to prospective civilian officers in 
training for service on Army transports and small boats. 



applicants were not available, and in the 
manning of Army transports at American 
ports it was necessary to employ only a 
limited number of noncitizens. 24 

In his endeavor to meet manning require- 
ments through the efforts of his own organi- 
zation, the Chief of Transportation directed 
all ports of embarkation to maintain man- 
ning cadres, or stand-by pools of seamen of 
various types. The size of each cadre was 
subject to approval by the Industrial Per- 
sonnel Division at headquarters." ' The men 
were used to fill vacancies in order that 
sailings from U.S. ports might not be de- 
layed, and also to meet urgent requests 
from the theaters for marine personnel. 
During the latter part of the war many 
vacancies on the transports were filled with 
officers graduated from the Marine Officer 
Cadet School at St. Petersburg, Fla., and 
with licensed and unlicensed personnel 
which had completed courses at the Civilian 
Marine School at New Orleans. These 
schools were established by the Chief of 
Transportation during the summer of 1943 
primarily to provide personnel for small 
boats operated in the theaters, but, after 
the peak of that demand had passed, quali- 
fied trainees were placed on ocean-going 
vessels as required. 

Active ocean-going seamen were eligible 
for deferment under the Selective Service 
Act, and this provision applied to seamen on 
Army vessels whether they were engaged in 
transoceanic or coastwise service. 26 Requests 

24 Conf with Corey cited |n. 6.| Crews provided 
for transports and smatl boats operating within the 
oversea theaters included a larger percentage of 

2a Size of cadres for transports authorized as of 
1 Sep 44 ranged from 25 at Prince Rupert to 257 
at San Francisco. Memo, Ind Pers Div for Hist 
Unit OCT, 16 Sep 44, OCT HB Ind Pers Div Gen. 

20 Marin e Per s Reg, par. 81.1-3; Conf with 
Corey cited| n. 67| 

for deferment and notices of termination of 
employment were filed with the Recruit- 
ment and Manning Organization of the 
War Shipping Administration, which kept 
an over-all record of seamen and processed 
such matters with the local selective service 
boards. Civilian personnel officers at the 
home ports initiated requests for the defer- 
ment of seamen and certified as to their 
regular employment. Masters and trans- 
portation agents on the vessels were respon- 
sible for notifying home ports when deferred 
seamen deserted, failed to join the ship, or 
otherwise were separated from the service. 
Draft deferment and the threat of its can- 
cellation were effective aids in recruiting 
and holding personnel for the transports, and 
the reduction in the upper age limit for 
men subject to the draft had an appreci- 
able though not serious effect on the man- 
ning problem. 

By maintaining stand-by pools and tap- 
ping all available sources of marine man- 
power, the Transportation Corps was able 
to avoid the necessity of delaying the sail- 
ing of any Army-operated transport from 
a U.S. port because of inadequate crew. In 
this the Army was aided by a relaxation of 
the enforcement of the inspection regula- 
tions in favor of vessels carrying troops and 
military cargoes, authorized by the Secre- 
tary of Commerce in December 1941. Pro- 
motions from the lower grades to meet re- 
quirements in the higher grades frequently 
were necessary in order to sail ships as 
scheduled, and some vessels were permitted 
to sail with less than the prescribed crew 
complements, but in making such depar- 
tures from the usual practices care was taken 
not to jeopardize the safety of the ships. 27 

27 Gross final rpt, p. 68; Conf with Corey, cited 
| n. t>] Ltr, Secy Commerce to SW, 31 Dec 41, with 
atchd instructions to collectors of customs, 30 Dec 
41. Last two in OCT HB PE Gen Transport Crews. 



Though some vessels operated by agents of 
the War Shipping Administration were de- 
layed because of insufficient crews, they 
were remarkably few considering the rapid 
growth of the fleet and the over-all man- 
power shortage and they decreased as the 
WSA recruiting and training organization 
expanded. 28 The accomplishments of that 
organization naturally eased the Army's re- 
cruiting problem. 

While no attempt was made to determine 
the rate of personnel turnover for the entire 
Army transport fleet, samplings were made 
at different times. In January 1943, for ex- 
ample, the turnover was found to be 32 
percent per voyage for the vessels con- 
sidered. 29 In September 1944 the available 
data indicated an average turnover of about 
34 percent. 30 These percentage figures rep- 
resent replacements for particular ships and 
voyages and do not take into account the 
fact that many seamen returned to the 
same or another Army vessel after a period 
ashore. The rate of turnover was not con- 
sidered excessive, in view of the hazards 
involved and the long trips made by many 
of the ships. 

The War Department adopted certain 
arrangements for the promotion of the wel- 
fare and the morale of seamen and their 
families. The provisions of Public Law 490, 
77th Congress, relating to continuation of 
pay and dependency allotments for missing 

28 Rpt of WSA to the President, The United 
States Merchant Marine at War, January 15, 1946, 
p. 55; "West Coast Ships Lack Men to Sail," The 
New York Times, June 25, 1944; "Thin Crews 
Delay Convoy Departures," The Washington Post, 
August 5, 1944. 

20 Memo, C of Water Div OCT for Dir of Opns 
OCT, 18 Jan 43, OCT 231.8 Army Vessels 
(10—31-42). Statement was made in response to 
union charge that Army crew replacements had 
reached a new high of 70 percent. 

30 Memo, Ind Pers Div OCT for Hist Unit OCT, 
16 Sep 44, OCT HB Ind Pers Div Gen. 

or captured personnel were made applicable 
to seamen on Army vessels. 31 In accordance 
with the provisions of Public Law 523, 77th 
Congress, the War Department requested 
the War Shipping Administration to pro- 
vide insurance under an open policy to 
cover the death or injury of seamen and 
the loss or damage of seamen's personal 
effects. 32 A clause was inserted in the ship- 
ping articles for Army vessels, under which 
the seaman or his beneficiary could choose 
between the benefits accruing under the 
Employees Compensation Act of 1916 and 
those accruing under the new act. 33 The 
Army assumed the expense of "maintenance 
and cure" during sickness or injury in- 
curred while in the service of its vessels, in 
accordance with a long-standing practice 
of the industry. 34 The Army supported a 
Maritime Commission proposal which re- 
sulted in the passage of Public Law 524, 
77th Congress, and in accordance with that 
law it recommended from time to time to 
the Merchant Marine Medal Awards Com- 

31 WD Cir 97, 3 Apr 42; Memo, TAG for CG 
SOS, 13 May 42, sub: Adm of PL 490, AG 240 
(1-3-42) Sec I, PL 490; 1st Ind, CofT for TAG, 
18 May 42, AG 240 (1-3-42) Sec I, PL 490; 
Marine Pers Reg, pars. 141.1—4. 

32 Ltr, SW for WSA, 18 Jul 42, OCT 019.3 PL 
523; Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 11 Aug 42, sub: 
Authority to Declare Risks; Memo, CG SOS for 
CofT, 12 Aug 42. Last two in OCT 019 Army 

33 Memo, C of Water Div OCT for C of Contl 
Div, OCT, sub: Payment of $5,000 Under Ship- 
ping Articles; Memo, DC of Water Div OCT for 
CG BPE, 14 Jun 43, sub: War Risk Benefits; 
Memo, C of Water Div OCT for CG BPE, 9 
Oct 43, sub: Payment of Claims. All in OCT 019 
Army Vessels. 

34 Memo, Legal Div OCT for Civ Pers Div OCT, 
6 Apr 43, sab: Payment of Charges for Hospitaliza- 
tion of Seamen, OCT 019 Army Vessels; Memo, 
CofT for CG ASF, 19 Oct 43, OCT 231.8 Army 
Vessels; TC Cir 80-11, par. 1-4, 11 Jan 44, sub: 
Approved Rider for Shipping Articles; Marine 
Pers Reg, par. 131.4. 



mittee that the Merchant Marine Distin- 
guished Service Medal be presented to de- 
serving seamen.' 5 

When the War Department labor policy 
which was announced 31 October 1942 was 
being formulated, the maritime unions 
placed great stress on the establishment of 
grievance procedures similar to those exist- 
ing in industry, and the idea had support 
in the Civilian Personnel Division of Serv- 
ices of Supply headquarters.™ The Water 
Division and Civilian Personnel Branch in 
the Office of the Chief of Transportation 
opposed the introduction of such elaborate 
procedures on the ground that they would 
involve delay in dealing with matters of 
crew discipline and possibly in making ves- 
sels ready for sailing. Their opposition was 
successful and a less cumbersome procedure 
was set up. Any employee or group of em- 
ployees who believed they had a grievance, 
upon termination of the voyage in the 
United States could present the complaint 
to the commander of the vessel's home port, 
directly or through representatives. If the 
port commander's settlement was not satis- 
factory, the complainant could take the 
matter up with the Secretary of War 
through the Chief of Transportation. 37 

Although the necessity of sailing ships 
without delay resulted in many seamen be- 
ing signed on who otherwise would not have 
been employed, a strong policy against the 
employment of men suspected of subversive 
activity was enforced. Under the Act to 
Expedite the Strengthening of the National 
Defense, 2 July 1 940, the Secretary of War 

' ir ' Memo, SW for Bureau of Budget, 23 Feb 42, 
AG 334.8 U.S. Mar Com (2-9-42) ; Memo, Adm 
Div OCT for Chm of MMMAC, 23 Apr 4.3, OCT 
230.72 Merchant Marine DSM; Memo, DC of 
Water Div OCT for Exec Secy MMMAC, 19 Jun 
43, OCT HB PE Gen Tran sport Crews. 

SB Conf with Corey, cited ln. 671 

^ WD Memo W620-4-42, par. 3f2, 31 Oct 42. 

was authorized to remove "forthwith" from 
the classified civil service of the United 
States any employee in the military estab- 
lishment who after thorough investigation 
had been found guilty of conduct inimical 
to the public interest and the defense pro- 
gram. The commanding officer of the sta- 
tion by which a suspected individual was 
employed was authorized to suspend him 
during the investigation if his presence was 
believed to jeopardize the security of the 
station. 3S The statement of War Depart- 
ment labor policy governing vessels affirmed 
the applicability of these provisions to sea- 
men. Under direction of the Chief of Trans- 
portation the commanders of ports of em- 
barkation not onlv were required to refuse 
to employ persons suspected of subversive 
activities and to suspend those already em- 
ployed on Army-operated vessels, but also 
to cause such persons to be removed from 
War Shipping Administration vessels which 
were allocated to the Army and berthed at 
Army piers. In order that prompt and fair 
review of suspensions might be afforded at 
the ports, the port commanders were di- 
rected to designate reviewing officers en- 
tirely independent of the officers whose duty 
it was to initiate suspension actions. 11 " Ac- 

3H PL 703, 76th Cong.; Memo, TAG for CG's 
AAF, AGF, SOS, etc., 31 May 42, AG 230 

3,1 Memo, CofT for port comdrs, 6 Nov 42, sub: 
Removal of Suspected Subversives, OCT 231.8 
Gen. WSA vessels were included in this directive 
despite contention of Navy that authority to re- 
move subversives from such vessels belonged ex- 
clusively to Coast Guard Captain of the Port, 
and in June 1943 agreement between CofT and 
Commandant of USGG recognized authority of TC 
over WSA vessels. Memo, CofT for Port Int Off 
NYPE, 21 Aug 42; 1st fnd, ACofS G-2 NYPE to 
C of Int Div OCT, 24 Aug 42; 3d Ind, ACofS 
G-2 WD to CofT, 30 Sep 42. All in OCT 230.8 
Gen. See also Memo, C of Legal Div OCT for Int 
and Security Div OCT, par. 7, 23 Aug 43, OCT 
231.8 Gen. 



tions against suspected subversives were 
based chiefly on reports of the Military In- 
telligence Service of the Army but also on 
information obtained from the U.S. Coast 
Guard and the British Security Coordina- 
tion under exchange arrangements. 40 

Crew discipline was a matter of constant 
concern to the Army, because of the casual 
types of seamen which had to be employed, 
the relative inexperience of many masters 
and mates, and the unusual conditions en- 
countered in wartime. The problem was 
particularly acute at those oversea ports 
where seamen were required to assist in 
loading and unloading cargo or to perform 
other unusual tasks because of the lack of 
local longshoremen or equipment. 41 At 
many such ports civil courts were non- 
existent or ineffective. Accordingly in Octo- 
ber 1942 the commanders of theaters of 
operations, defense commands, service com- 
mands, and ports of embarkation were in- 
formed that the military tribunals of the 
United States had jurisdiction over the 
crews of merchant vessels — not only Army 
transports but other American and foreign 
vessels — operating within a base or military 
area or carrying materiel or personnel in 
connection with U.S. military operations. 
These commanders were instructed to exer- 
cise necessary authority whenever military 
considerations required. 42 Clarification of 

40 Misc Ltr 34, CofT for CO's of PE's, 27 Jan 
45, OCT 231.8 Gen; Memo, MID WD, 21 Jul 42, 
MID 231.82; British List of Suspected Seamen, 
April 1942. Last two in OCT 231.8 Jan 42-Jun 43. 

41 Memo, CofT for CofS ASF, 26 Jun 43, OCT 
250.401 Crews: Memo, C of Int Div OCT for 
Legal Div OCT, 17 Oct 42, OCT 560.1 Army 

42 Memo, by order of SW, 9 Oct 42, WD 250.01 
(10-8—42), sub: Authority of Commanders and 
Jurisdiction of Military Tribunals with respect to 
Crews of Merchant Vessels, OCT 250.401 Crews: 
WD Cir 164, Sec. I, 19 Jul 43; WD Cir 175, Sec. 
IV, 30 Jul 43. 

the extent to which this authority should be 
exercised was necessary as the result of in- 
quiries from the War Shipping Administra- 
tion and the British Government. The W ar 
Department's position was that while mili- 
tary commanders had court-martial juris- 
diction over merchant seamen, such juris- 
diction should not be invoked when civil 
tribunals were available in which the mili- 
tary commanders had confidence, and 
which had the authority and the disposi- 
tion to punish offenders promptly and ade- 
quately. 43 

A word is necessary regarding the ship 
transportation agent, who was in charge of 
the administrative department on Army 
transports, since his functions varied some- 
what from those of the purser on commer- 
cial vessels. The prewar regulation provided 
that home port commanders should assign 
to each vessel a transport quartermaster 
(commissioned officer), or a quartermaster 
agent ( civilian ) , Under the Transportation 
Corps the designations were changed to 
transportation officer and transportation 
agent, and since as the war progressed it 
became increasingly difficult to assign offi- 
cers, the regulation eventually was revised 
to provide only for transportation agents. 44 
The ship transportation agent was charged 
with the care and issue of supplies, the care 
and disbursement of funds, the performance 

43 Ltr, WSA to ASW, 9 Oct 42; Summary by 
CofT, 19 May 44; Ltr, USW to WSA, 22 May 44. 
All in OCT 250.401 Crews. Extensive correspond- 
ence with British is in file OPD 250.4 Great Britain 
and AG 250.4 (6 Oct 42). For American seamen's 
attitude see Memo, Col E. S. Greenbaum for USW, 
27 Oct 42, in OCT HB Gross Crews; Ltr, Chm 
Natl Maritime Union's Ships Com to JAG, 12 
Apr 44, OCT 250.401 Crews; Memo, JAG for 
CofT, 19 May 44, OCT 250.401 Crews; WD 
Pamphlet 27-5, Feb 45, sub: Mil Jurisdiction over 
Merchant Seamen. 

44 AR 30-1120, 23 Jul 32; AR 55-320, 11 Nov 
44, sub: Ship Trans Agent. 



of the duties of baggage-master and civilian 
personnel officer for the ship, and the prep- 
aration of papers and reports required by 
law or by Transportation Corps regula- 
tions. 13 He was responsible to the master 
and the home port commander in all mat- 
ters except funds, for which he accounted 
directly to the Fiscal Director of the Army 
Service Forces. On cargo vessels the trans- 
portation agent himself usually handled all 
the work of the administrative department, 
but on troop transports he had as many as 
six assistants. 40 

Maintenance and Voyage Repairs 

Army-owned vessels, being public vessels 
used for a public purpose, were not subject 
to the navigation and inspection laws, and 
during peacetime they were permitted to 
fall below the standards of maintenance 
necessary to obtain certificates of inspec- 
tion. 47 Funds were obtained late in 1940 to 
recondition the transports then in service, 
and thereafter in the interest of efficiency 
and safety it was the policy of The Quarter- 
master General, and later of the Chief of 
Transportation, to comply with the vessel 
inspection laws and regulations to the ex- 
tent that military considerations would per- 
mit. 48 As regards vessels serving the Army 

45 FM 55-105, par. 47, 25 Sep 44, sub: Water 
Trans : Ocean-Going Vessels. 

46 Conf, author with John J. Bratton, 4 Mar 47, 
OCT HB PE Gen Transport Crews. During the 
war Bratton was a ship transportation agent and 
later an employee of Water Division, OCT. Memo, 
Civ Pers Div OCT for Water Div OCT, 24 Oct 
42, OCT 231.8 Army Vessels 1942, gives crew 
strength in all departments. 

47 Memo, Cordiner for Dillon, 12 May 41, OCT 
HB OQMG Water Trans Br. For definition of 
public vessel see USCG Navigation and Vessel Insp 
Cir 41, 21 Sep 43, OCT HB PE Gen Transport 

4H TC Cir 80-1, par. 1, 1 Jan 44. 

but not exempt from the navigation and 
inspection laws, arrangements for the issu- 
ance of waivers were made, pursuant to 
Section 501 of the Second War Powers Act, 
1942, which in effect left to the Army the 
final decision as to when such waivers 
should be issued. 49 In accordance with these 
arrangements, the Army port commanders 
were authorized to file requests for waivers 
with the U.S. Coast Guard, and, in case the 
initial request should be denied, to file a 
statement that the military urgency out- 
weighed the marine hazard involved, which 
was tantamount to a directive that the 
waiver be issued. 50 The Army agreed not to 
override Coast Guard denial of waiver 
until a conscientious effort to reach agree- 
ment had been made by officers of the two 
agencies. 51 

During the war standards for the main- 
tenance of ocean-going vessels to prevent 
excessive deterioration, promote economical 
operation, and observe safety requirements 
were defined in considerable detail in Army 
and Transportation Corps regulations. 52 
Primary responsibility for the enforcement 
of maintenance standards on vessels as- 
signed to ports of embarkation in the zone 
of interior rested with the superintendents 

49 Regarding application of navigation and in- 
spection laws to such vessels, see Memo, JAG for 
CofT, 4 Aug 43, sub: Application of Insp Laws 
to Privately Owned Vessels Employed by WD, 
OCT 333.7 Prevoyage Insp of Vessels. 

50 OCT Cir 114, 14 Sep 43, sub: Waiver of Nav 
and Vessel Insp Laws; OCT Cir 174, 22 Dec 43. 

51 TC Cir 80-20, 29 Mar 45, sub: Army Vessel 
Insp. Question of seaworthiness involved in waiver 
arrangements included adequacy of crews as well 
as physical condition and equipment of vessels. See 
Memo, Comdt USCG for district Coast Guard 
officers, 14 Dec 42, sub: Presailing Insp, OCT 
333.7 Prevoyage Insp of Vessels. 

52 AR 55-505, 1 Sep 42 ; TC Cir 80-2, 1 Jan 
44; Supp. 1, 3 Apr 44; Supp. 2, 14 Apr 44; Supp. 
3, 9 Jun 44. 



of the Water Divisions at the ports. Shortages 
of labor and material, and the necessity of 
dispatching vessels on designated convoy 
sailing dates, often prevented full compli- 
ance with the regulations. Important de- 
partures from the maintenance routine, 
such as delay in dry-docking a vessel beyond 
the permissible period, required the ap- 
proval of the Chief of Transportation. The 
superintendents were required to establish 
boards of competent technical inspectors to 
make complete and thorough inspections of 
all compartments, machinery, equipment, 
and underwater parts at least once a year, 
independent of any inspections conducted 
by the Coast Guard. The port commanders 
were required to have an adequate, though 
naturally less thorough, inspection made 
prior to the sailing of each Army-operated 
transport and of other troop-carrying ships 
serving the Army, and to submit a copy of 
the inspection report to the Chief of Trans- 
portation. 53 

General Gross, while anxious to avoid 
delayed sailings, was insistent on the ob- 
servance of all safety measures. He placed 
special emphasis on thorough prevoyage in- 
spection of troop-carrying vessels and 
prompt action to correct any deficiencies, 
and he impressed on the port commanders 
that responsibility for the safe carriage of 
troops was primarily theirs. 54 

The performance of maintenance and re- 
pair work was carefully controlled. The 
master, chief engineer, and chief steward of 
each vessel were required to prepare requisi- 

53 TC Cir 50-20, rev., 15 Jun 44, sub: Prevoyage 
Vessel Insp Rpt. 

54 Memos for port comdrs, 23 Sep 42, and 17 
Nov 42; Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 11 Nov 42, 
sub: Ports of Emb. All in OCT 333.7 Prevoyage 
Insp of Vessels. 

tions for their respective departments, which 
they submitted to the superintendent of the 
Water Division upon arrival at the home 
port. The superintendent or his representa- 
tive inspected the proposed work and de- 
cided which jobs should be done during the 
current stay in port, and whether they 
should be done by the crew, the dock force, 
or at a contractor's plant. 55 Each port of 
embarkation had a marine repair shop 
which functioned under the superintendent 
of the Water Division and performed ship 
repairs to the extent of its capacity. Because 
of the backlog of work at contractors' yards, 
the Army shops were called on for a wide 
variety of work and their facilities and 
equipment were expanded greatly during 
the war. 5 ' 5 At the same time an effort was 
made to restrict the work of the Army shops 
as much as possible to normal voyage re- 
pairs and not to undertake larger jobs when 
commercial yards could perform them. An 
explicit rule was given for differentiating 
between "normal or voyage repairs" and 
"alterations and major repairs." 57 Ports of 
embarkation were authorized to accomplish 
the former at their own discretion but were 
not permitted to undertake the latter type 
of work without approval of the Office of 
the Chief of Transportation. Alterations and 
major repairs to Army and War Shipping 
Administration vessels to make them more 
suitable for military service constituted a 
very important phase of Transportation 
Corps' wartime activity and will be dis- 
cussed more fully in a subsequent chapter. 

55 AR 55-505, par. 4, 1 Sep 42. 

56 Remarks, Brig Gen Robt H. Wylie at Port and 
Zone Comdrs Conf, Omaha, Sep 1945, p. 49, OCT 
HB PE Gen Port Comdrs Conf. 

57 TC Pamphlet 34, Sec. I, 1 Apr 45, sub: Re- 
pairs and Alterations to Vessels, OCT HB Water 
Div Ship Repair and Conv. 



Supplies for Vessels 

The method of handling supplies on 
Army transports was found to be loose and 
inefficient by the chief of The Quarter- 
master General's Transportation Division, 
who investigated the matter during the 
summer of 1940. 58 That official took steps 
to correct the situation, but ten months later 
he was able to report only limited progress. 
The reason given for the delay was that the 
Army Transport Service superintendents, 
whom he had charged with finding ways 
and means of effecting improvement, were 
hampered by "the press of other business." 
A likely further reason may be found in the 
fact that although the regulations stated 
that the transport quartermasters, who at 
that time had charge of supply matters on 
the vessels, were representatives of the ATS 
superintendents, the inspection of the trans- 
port quartermasters' property and financial 
accounts at the end of each voyage was a 
responsibility of the finance officers of the 
corps areas. This inspection responsibility 
was transferred to the port commanders in 
March 1942. 56 The Water Division in the 
Office of the Chief of Transportation gave 
the subject continuous attention, and other 
improvements in the system were effected 

During the war the handling of supplies 
on an Army vessel, except medical and sales 
commissary supplies, was a function of the 
ship transportation agent, who was assigned 
by and was responsible to the commander of 
the vessel's home port. 80 He prepared requi- 

48 Memo, Cordiner for Dillon, 12 May 41, par. 
3e, OCT HB OQMG Water Trans Br. 

59 AR 30-1250, 22 May 31, sub: Supplies for 
Transports; Memo, TAG for CG's of Corps Areas 
and PE's, 5 Mar 42, AG 333.7 (2-20-42) Insp 
of Vessels. 

90 AR 55-320, 11 Nov 44, sub: Ship Trans 

sitions based on requests made by the chiefs 
of the several ship departments, submitted 
them for the approval of the master in the 
case of supplies required for the operation 
of the vessel and for the approval of the 
transport commander in the case of sup- 
plies required for the permanent military 
staff of the vessel, and finally submitted the 
approved requisitions to the port com- 
mander on arrival. He arranged for all sup- 
plies to be checked on and off the vessel and 
investigated shortages. He kept simple stock 
record cards, on a prescribed War Depart- 
ment form, for each item of supply for 
which he was responsible, except subsistence 
supplies for which more detailed accounting 
was required. 61 The commander of the ves- 
sel's home port was required to have fre- 
quent inspections made to establish that the 
transportation agent's records reflected the 
true status of the stock and that there had 
been no waste or misuse of government 
property. The Chief of Transportation was 
required to issue "standard tables of allow- 
ances" to govern the storing of vessels. 

In the enforcement of economy in the 
supply of Army transports, emphasis was 
placed on the use of standard stocks and the 
restriction of local purchases to the practi- 
cal minimum. Standard stocks were defined 
as those listed in the stock catalogs of the 
several technical services. "Special and 
fancy equipment and supplies" were not to 
be used, and when standard stocks were not 
available the nearest practical substitutes 
were to be found. Since subsistence stores 
offered an exceptionally wide range of 
choice, purchases were limited to items and 
qualities listed by the Chief of Transporta- 
tion. The list stated that expensive cuts of 

n AR 35-6580, 6 Jun 42, sub: Accounting for 
Subsistence ; AR 55-450, 1 1 Nov 44, pan. 3, 4, 7, 
9, 10, sub: Supplies on Transports. 



meats were to be omitted ; good but not de 
luxe qualities of canned goods were to be 
used ; smaller quantities than those specified 
for the several items were to be purchased 
only when unavoidable. Local purchases of 
standard or nonstandard items by ship 
transportation agents or by ports of em- 
barkation were restricted to cases of emer- 

Each technical service was responsible 
for the procurement, storage, and issue of 
standard items peculiar to it for use on 
Army transports, and the Chief of Trans- 
portation was directed not to procure, store, 
or issue the standard items of other techni- 
cal services. 6 s Requirements of nonstandard 
items were determined by the Transporta- 
tion Corps, which was responsible also for 
their storage and issue, but such items were 
procured by the technical services respon- 
sible for the purchase of similar standard 
items. As regards items procured by the 
Transportation Corps, the Water Division 
furnished the Director of Supply with the 
information necessary to enable him to 
stockpile what would be needed for the 
supply, maintenance, repair, and conversion 
of vessels. 

Up to April 1945 the Water Division, 
which was charged with preparing stand- 
ard tables of allowances, had not succeeded 
in doing so because of the many types of 
vessels involved and the many different 
missions which they performed. 84 Its repre- 

B2 OCT Cir 133, 19 Oct 43, sub: Supplies for 
Army Transports; OCT Cir 80-16, 4 Apr 44, sub: 
Vessels— Supplies ; WD Cir 310, Sec. VII, 20 Jul 
44 ; AR 55-450, par. 2, 1 1 Nov 44. 

"ASF Cir 387, Sec. VI, 25 Nov 44; TC Cir 
5-21, 6 Dec 44, sub: Supply Responsibility; TC 
Cir 150-29, 6 Jan 45, sub: Supplies for Army 

M Rpt, Maj K. N. Sachs to Acting Dir of Opns 
OCT, 2 Apr 45, extracts in OCT HB PE Gen 
Transport Equip and Supplies. 

sentative, who completed an investigation at 
the New York Port of Embarkation in 
April, reported that although the stock 
records on the vessels were found in good 
order so far as the receipt and disburse- 
ment of supplies were concerned and the 
ports had endeavored to edit requisitions 
from the ships in order to control the types 
and quantities of supplies furnished, no 
satisfactory control was possible without 
tables of allowances from which to work. 
The Chief of Transportation then issued 
detailed instructions for the establishment 
of such tables. 63 They were to be based on 
lists prepared initially by the heads of the 
several ship departments and reviewed 
successively by the ship transportation 
agents, the ports of embarkation, and the 
Office of the Chief of Transportation. After 
tables of allowances had been established, 
the port commanders were to be responsible 
for keeping them current. 

In a further effort to improve the pro- 
cedures and rules, the Chief of Transporta- 
tion established a Committee on Standardi- 
zation for Army Vessels, consisting of 
representatives of the Director of Supply, 
the Water Division, and the Port and Field 
Agencies Division. 66 At its first meeting the 
committee decided that in addition to tables 
of allowances for individual transports and 
hospital ships, a port supply catalog, in- 
cluding all items contained in the tables of 
allowances, was desirable. Meetings were 
held with the supply and technical service 
representatives of the ports of embarkation 
to obtain information and make plans for 
the furtherance of this work. 07 Tables of 

65 OCT Misc. Ltr 174, 24 May 45, sub: T/A 
Army Transports. 

88 OCT Office Order 5-39, 2 Jun 45. 

B7 Com Mtg, 19 Jun 45: Mtgs, 26-27 Jun 45, at 
NYPE, and 13-14 Jul 45, at SFPE. All in OCT 
HB PE Gen Transport Equip and Supplies. 



allowances for individual vessels were ap- 
proved as rapidly as recommendations from 
the vessels could be obtained and the pre- 
scribed checking completed. The approved 
lists of allowances, as they eventually were 
designated, were in two parts, one part 
covering items common to all vessels and 
the other covering items peculiar to a 
specific vessel or type of vessel. Though very 
few lists were approved prior to V-J Day 
and such lists were considered only tenta- 
tive, the committee continued its work and 
eventually approved lists of allowances for 
all vessels under Army operation. Port 
supply catalogs were not prepared, since it 
was found that the approved lists of allow- 
ances, giving the correct descriptions of 
items, the stock numbers, and the issuing 
agencies, in addition to the quantities to 
be stored by the respective vessels, obviated 
the need for such catalogs.* 8 

Although considerable progress was 
made, a complete system for controlling 
the storing of transports was not achieved 
during the war. A number of reasons may 
be cited. That task naturally was given a 
lower priority than others which had direct 
bearing on the prompt and safe movement 
of troops and supplies. There was a scar- 
city of men with sufficient technical 
knowledge to formulate a practical system, 
and their services were in great demand in 
other branches of marine activity. The 
shortages which existed in many branches 
of Army supply frequently placed port and 
transport officers on their own resources to 
complete the storing of vessels before sail- 
ing time and limited the effectiveness of 
the effort to enforce standardization. In 

08 Conf, author with Philip E. King, Water Div 
OCT, 30 Jan 48, OCT HB PE Gen Transport 
Equip and Supplies. King worked in close collab- 
oration with the committee from its inception. 

June 1945 the technical services at the 
New York Port of Embarkation estimated 
that 8,050 different nonstandard items 
were being furnished Army vessels, com- 
pared with 4,500 standard items. Estimates 
prepared a few weeks later indicated that 
6,200 nonstandard and 15,238 standard 
items were being supplied at San Francisco, 
and that 10,300 nonstandard and 8,268 
standard items were being furnished at 
Seattle. 69 These figures represent only 
rough computations, as the wide variations 
between the ports indicate, but they show 
nevertheless that the ports had to supply a 
very large number of nonstandard items 
right up to the end of the war. 

Food Service on Transports and Hospital 

The messes on Army troopships were the 
subject of careful study, along with the 
messes at port staging areas. The problem 
of maintaining proper standards on the 
ships was accentuated by the abnormal 
number of passengers carried and the limi- 
tation on the expansion of galleys and mess 
quarters. Under Army regulations, the 
ship's chief steward was charged with super- 
vising the preparation and serving of meals 
and with assuring that the stores used were 
good in quality and adequate in quantity. 
The superintendent of the Army Transport 
Service (later called Water Division) at 
the ship's home port was directed to "in 
general terms prescribe the bills of fare" 
on transports; the commanding officer of 
troops (later called transport commander) 
was directed to see that suitable and proper 
meals were provided for the various 
passenger messes ; the transport surgeon was 

Mtgs at NYPE and SFPE cited n. 67 



responsible for hospital messes on transports 
and hospital ships. 70 

In July 1943 Army Service Forces head- 
quarters launched a program for the im- 
provement of the food service at Class I 
and IV installations, made the commanding 
generals of the service commands respon- 
sible for the execution of the program, and 
designated The Quartermaster General to 
give the activity staff supervision. 71 The 
plan called for the appointment of a direc- 
tor of food service in each service command 
and a food service supervisor at each in- 
stallation, including the ports of embarka- 
tion. The supervisory functions which the 
Army Transport Service superintendents 
long had exercised over transport messes 
overlapped the functions committed to the 
new food service supervisors assigned to the 
ports, a fact which led to some confusion. 
Late in August 1945, in order to clarify the 
situation, the Chief of Transportation de- 
fined in detail the duties assigned to the 
food service supervisors, the port stewards, 
the transport commanders, and the ships' 
chief stewards. 72 His directive stated that 
the port steward would conduct a food 
service and supervise all phases of feeding 
on the vessels on behalf of the superintend- 
ent of the W ater Division, but it also placed 
the port stewards under the staff supervision 
of the food service supervisor. The source 
of the difficulty was not thus removed, and 
while at most ports the officers involved 
worked harmoniously toward a common 
goal, at one important port the dual re- 
sponsibility of the superintendent of Water 

70 AR 55-420, pars, 6 and 8, 1 Sep 42, sub: 
Transport and Harbor Boat Messes; AR 55-345, 
par. 2b, 11 Nov 44, sub: Steward's Dept. 

71 ASF Cir 45, 1 Jul 43. 

72 TC Cir 80-24, 31 Aug 45, sub: Food Service 
Programs Aboard Army Transports, etc. 

Division and the food service supervisor 
led to considerable friction. 73 

During the greater part of the war there 
was a lack of clarity in the regulations re- 
garding the respective duties of The 
Quartermaster General, The Surgeon Gen- 
eral, and the Chief of Transportation in 
connection with food service on transports 
and hospital ships. Toward the close of 
hostilities War Department and Army 
Service Forces directives were issued to 
clarify this situation. 74 The ASF directive 
stated that The Quartermaster General was 
responsible for formulating policies regard- 
ing the supervision, inspection, organiza- 
tion, and operation of facilities pertinent to 
food service on vessels, except hospital 
ships; The Surgeon General had a similar 
responsibility in regard to the feeding of 
patients on hospital ships. The directive 
applied not only to Army transports but 
to other troopships in Army service. The 
Chief of Transportation was directed to 
supervise the conduct and operation of 
food service activities on all such vessels, 
in accordance with the policies, methods, 
and standards prescribed by The Quarter- 
master General and The Surgeon General. 

The Chief of Transportation believed 
that the food service on ships and at the 
staging areas deserved special consideration 
as an important factor in maintaining 
morale among troops destined overseas. 
Accordingly, he arranged with The Quar- 
termaster General early in 1944 for the 
transfer of an experienced food service 
officer to the Transportation Corps to act 

73 Conf, author with Harold H, Beattie, 30 Jan 
48, OCT HB Port and Field Agencies Div Mess 

74 WD Cir 149, Sec. IV, 21 May 45; ASF Cir 
235, Pt. 1, par. 5, 22 Jun 45. 



as mess adviser. 70 That officer found that 
the staging areas, which at that period were 
processing large numbers of troops, con- 
sumed all of the time he was able to devote 
to inspections. Consequently he was given 
an assistant in August 1944, whose chief 
duty was to inspect transport messes, report 
deficiencies to the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation, and recommend improve- 

Armament and Gun Crews 

Although the question of guns and gun 
crews for Army vessels had been before the 
War Department and the Navy since No- 
vember 1940, adequate preparation had 
not been made when the Japanese attacked 
Pearl Harbor. 7 ' 1 Consequently, in the early 
weeks of the war considerable confusion at- 
tended both the installation of armament 
and the provision of gun crews, or armed 
guards as the Navy called them. Initially it 
was understood that the Navy would pro- 
vide the armament and that the Army 
would provide detachments from the Coast 
Artillery Corps to man the guns." It de- 
veloped that the Navy, which was respon- 
sible for arming privately owned American 
merchant vessels and which also armed 
numerous foreign vessels, was short of 
equipment, and the Army undertook to 
make up the deficit so far as its own trans- 

75 Maj. Edward O. Matthews was transferred 1 7 
Jan 44 and attached to the Port and Field Agencies 
Div OCT. 

7n Ltr, Acting SN for SW, 13 Nov 40; 2d Ind 
QMG, 25 Nov 40; Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS 
USA, 30 Nov 40; Memo, SW for SN, 3 Dec 40, 
sub: Degaussing and Arming Army Transports. All 
in AG 573.9 (11-13-40). 

77 Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for Port Comdrs, 
19 Dec 41, sub: Arming Transports and Chartered 
Vessels, G-4/2971 7-50 ; Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 
for CG SFPE, 7 Jan 42, G-4/29717-51. 

ports were concerned. 78 Army sources were 
unable to furnish the prescribed equipment 
in many instances and some vessels were 
not capable structurally of taking normal 
armament; therefore considerable impro- 
visation was necessary in order that ships 
might sail without delay and with a reason- 
able degree of protection. The Western De- 
fense Command reported that the necessity 
of providing armament for vessels sailing 
from the Pacific coast had created a serious 
shortage of weapons in that command. 78 

In the midst of the confusion regarding 
the installation of armament, the Navy, 
without warning to the Army, decided to 
man the guns which the Navy had installed 
on Army vessels, with the result that both 
Army and Navy gun crews were assigned 
to certain ships. 80 The Army requested that 
the Navy order be rescinded and that Navy 
crews be withdrawn pending further con- 
sideration of the matter. The Navy Depart- 
ment complied but instructed its personnel 
at the ports that in the future Navy armed 
guards would be furnished wherever Navy 
guns were installed. At San Francisco, 
where the situation was particularly acute, 
the Army port commander found it expe- 
dient to place mixed gun crews on some 
vessels. G— 4 directed that this practice be 

78 Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for ACofS G-4, 22 
Dec 41, OCT HB Gross Day File; Ltr, SN to Chm 
of Mar Com, 3 Feb 42, sub: Arming Foreign 
Vessels, G-4 / 297 1 7-50. See Morison, The Battle 
of the Atlantic, App. Ill, for statistics of U.S. and 
foreign vessels armed. 

7a Memo, ACofS G-4 for CG's NYPE and SFPE, 
23 Dec 41, sub: Army Transports; Memo, CG 
WDC for CG GHQ, 31 Jan 42, sub: Armament 
for Ships; Memo, C of Trans Br G— 4 for CG 
SFPE, 17 Feb 42. All in G-4/297 1 7-50. 

so Memo, C of Trans Br G-4 for CG SFPE, 8 
Jan 42, sub: Gun Crews, G-4/29717-51; Memo, 
CofS USA for CNO (Stark), 10 Jan 42, 
G-4/29717-51; Telg, Nav Dept to Naval Dists, 
etc., 17 Jan 42, OCT HB Wylie Armament. 



discontinued; that insofar as the Navy could 
provide full crews it should be permitted 
to do so but that otherwise the Army should 
provide full crews. 81 

In July 1942 the Army, which by then 
had placed gun crews on more than sev- 
enty vessels, inquired as to the possibility 
of the Navy's assuming the entire respon- 
sibility and was informed that since the 
shortage of naval armed guards had been 
relieved, such guards could be provided for 
all Army transports. The War Department 
then directed that the Coast Artillery de- 
tachments be replaced by Navy personnel 
as rapidly as this could be accomplished. 88 

The relationship between the naval 
armed guards and the civilian officers on 
Army transports caused some concern. In 
December 1942 the commander of the San 
Francisco Port of Embarkation reported 
that this relationship long had been a matter 
of controversy, with resulting lack of disci- 
pline. In reply the Chief of Transportation 
pointed out that their respective jurisdic- 
tions were adequately defined in the regula- 
tions. 83 He indicated that the Navy regula- 
tion, which was incorporated by reference 
in a recently issued Army Regulation (AR 
55—330, paragraph 5, 1 December 1942), 
made the commander of the armed guard 
subject to the orders of the master in all 
matters pertaining to the internal organiza- 
tion of the ship, including matters of con- 

81 Memo, CG SFPE for C of Trans Br G-4, 21 
Jan 42, sub: Arming Vessels; Memo, C of Trans 
Br G-4 for CG SFPE, 4 Feb 42. Both in 

62 Memo, Asst Opns Off OCT for CofT, 9 Jul 
42 ; Memo, ACofS for Opns SOS for VCNO USN, 
30 Jul 42 ; Memo, OCNO for ACofS for Opns SOS, 
1 1 Aug 42 ; Memo, TAG for CofT, 4 Sep 42. All 
in OCT 322 CA Trans Det. 

83 Memo, CG SFPE for CofT, 21 Dec 42 ; Memo, 
CofT for CG SFPE, 24 Feb 43. Both in OCT 560.1 
Army Vessels. 

duct, dress, and leave. The military disci- 
pline of the armed guard, on the other 
hand, was to be administered by its com- 
mander, and the members of the armed 
guard were not to be required to perform 
any duties except their military duties. The 
Chief of Transportation also explained that 
the commanding officer of troops, who had 
been mentioned in the San Francisco report, 
had no authority whatsoever over the armed 
guard, and stated that it was not considered 
advisable to suggest such an arrangement to 
the Navy. He further stated that the Navy 
Department informally had recognized that, 
in view of the paramount position of the 
master affecting the internal organization 
and safety of the ship, in an extreme case 
of disobedience on the part of the com- 
mander or members of the armed guard 
the master might be justified in taking ac- 
tion on the spot to the extent of placing the 
recalcitrants in confinement. 

Other reports regarding jurisdictional 
and disciplinary disputes arising between 
officers of the civilian crews and the naval 
armed guards were received by the Chief 
of Transportation, but they were not nu- 
merous. On the other hand, the personal re- 
lationships between civilian seamen and the 
enlisted men of the naval armed guards 
frequently were troubled. During the early 
part of the war, according to a Navy source, 
30 percent of the armed guard officers re- 
ported friction. 84 The dissimilar responsi- 
bilities of these groups, the disparity in the 
rates of compensation, and the differing 
conceptions of their responsibilities toward 
the ships on which they were employed were 
basic causes of antagonism. Nevertheless, 
as time went on and civilian and naval per- 
sonnel became accustomed to working side 
by side the relationship improved. 

84 Morison, Battle of the Atlantic, p. 299. 



Radio Service and Radar 

Under the regulations the radio operators 
on the Army's ocean-going vessels might be 
either enlisted men assigned by the Signal 
Corps or commercial operators employed by 
the home port commanders. 1 * 5 But the regu- 
lations also provided that instructions re- 
garding the use of radio equipment aboard 
the transports would be issued by the Chief 
of Naval Operations, and a Navy directive 
promulgated soon after our entry into the 
war provided for the assignment of Navy 
communication liaison groups. se These 
groups normally would consist of a com- 
missioned officer, three radiomen, and three 
signalmen. In view of the scarcity of trained 
naval radio personnel, however, it was pro- 
vided that when Signal Corps or commer- 
cial operators were retained, they would be 
counted as members of the communication 
liaison groups, provided at least one Navy 
radioman was assigned to each transport. 

Although this Navy directive required 
only that one Navy radioman be installed 
on each Army vessel, reports from San 
Francisco and Seattle disclosed that the 
Twelfth and Thirteenth Naval Districts 
were assigning more. 87 Because of limited 
accommodations on the vessels and the 
number of naval personnel assigned, it was 
necessary sometimes to remove the Signal 
Corps personnel. The Army ports of em- 
barkation indicated that they had found the 

* 5 AR 30-1160, Ch. 2, 30 Nov 39; AR 55-360, 
17 Nov. 42. 

Ha Memo, CNO for Naval Dists, etc., 24 Jan 42, 
sub: Com Liaison Groups — U.S. Flag Merchant 
Vessels and U.S. Army Transport Vessels, OCT 
221 Army Vessels. 

S7 Msg, Thirteenth Naval Dist to VCNO, 4 Sep 
42 ; Memo, Port Dir Thirteenth Naval Dist for 
VCNO, 19 Nov 42; Memo, CG SFPE for CSigO 
SOS (through CofT), 21 Dec 42; Memo, Port 
Sig Off SPE for CSigO SOS, 6 Feb 43. All in OCT 
221 Army Vessels. 

Signal Corps operators fully competent to 
handle radio communications according to 
Navy requirements and that the assign- 
ment of naval operators was a waste of 
manpower. After consideration of these 
arguments, the Chief Signal Officer and 
the Chief of Transportation concurred in 
the view that, since Navy radio procedure 
was used on Army transports and only Navy 
radio stations were authorized to communi- 
cate with the transports, it was desirable 
that Navy radiomen be carried and that 
they be permitted to stand watch. 8S Never- 
theless, a revision of the Navy directive is- 
sued soon thereafter explicitly stated that 
Navy personnel would be assigned only to 
complete communication personnel com- 
plements, not to replace Signal Corps and 
commercial operators. 80 

The Navy directive contemplated that, 
as it became available, naval communica- 
tion personnel would be placed not only on 
Army vessels but on all U.S. merchant ves- 
sels of 1 ,000 gross tons or more. This did 
not eventuate, however, and in May 1944 
a new plan was agreed on by the Navy, the 
Army, and the War Shipping Administra- 
tion. 90 It provided that "the present prac- 
tice" of assigning Army radio technicians to 
Army transports would be continued. WSA 
vessels carrying 250 or more troops were to 
be assigned either Army or Navy radiomen, 
according to the service to which the vessels 
were allocated when the assignments were 

Re 1 st Ind, CSigO for CG SOS, 21 Dec 42; 
Memo, CofT for CG NYPE, 9 Mar 43 (similar 
letters to other ports) ; 4th Ind, CSigO SOS for 
CofT, 10 Mar 43. All in OCT 221 Army Vessels. 

80 Memo, VCNO for Dir BuPers and Naval Dists, 
30 Mar 43, sub: Com Liaison Pers, OCT 221 Army 

s<) Memo, CNO for Naval Dists, 6 May 44, AG 
220.3 (22 May 44); WD Memo W55-44, 23 
Jun 44, sub: Assignment of U.S. Army Radio 
Technicians or Navy Radiomen. 



made, and Army and Navy personnel were 
not to be assigned to the same vessels at the 
same time. All WSA cargo vessels were to 
be assigned commercial radio operators, re- 
gardless of their allocation. The Navy direc- 
tive on this subject stated that when com- 
mercial operators were not available Navy 
operators would be assigned to cargo ships; 
it also stipulated that Navy radio personnel 
might be assigned to any vessel at the dis- 
cretion of the Chief of Naval Operations. 

In June 1 943 it was arranged that emer- 
gency radio rooms would be installed on the 
troop transports which were being provided 
for Army use by new construction and by 
the conversion of existing cargo vessels. 31 
The emergency rooms were located in the 
after parts of the ships within the hulls, 
where they would be least subject to dam- 
age by enemy action. The radio equipment 
installed in them did not have the range 
required for the regular radio installations 
on transports but was adequate for emer- 
gency purposes. These rooms were intended 
for use only when the regular communica- 
tions equipment was out of service. 

Although earlier efforts had been made 
to have Army troop transports provided 
with radar equipment for aiding navigation, 
this end was not accomplished until 1945, 
and installations had been made on only a 
few of the transports when the war ended. 
The provision of seaborne radar equipment 
rested entirely with the Navy, for under a 

1942 agreement between the Army and the 
Navy the Signal Corps confined its activ- 
ities to air and ground equipment. In April 

1943 the Transportation Corps approached 
the Navy on this subject and was informed 

ni Memo, OCT for U.S. Secy CCS, 10 Jun 43, 
sub: Conversion of Transports, OCT 564 Army 
Vessels; Conf, author with Geo. A. Anthony, Main- 
tenance and Repair Br OCT, 5 Aug 48, OCT HB 
PE Gen Transport Radio Sv. 

that there was not enough radar equipment 
to permit installation on Army transports. 92 
A further request was made in November 
1943, with the same result. In March 1944 
the Navy announced that its policy did not 
permit the installation of radar in merchant 
vessels, because operation by civilian crews 
would jeopardize security on equipment 
which was believed to be superior to that of 
the enemy and there was not enough quali- 
fied naval personnel to permit its use for this 
purpose; also that materials, facilities, and 
manpower were inadequate to meet the 
military requirements. 9 ' 5 

In September 1944, after conversations 
with Navy representatives, the Chief of 
Transportation furnished the Navy with a 
list of Army troop transports, requested that 
radar be installed as soon as it became avail- 
able, and stated that military operators 
would be assigned to the vessels with the 
understanding that the Navy would pro- 
vide instruction in the handling of radar to 
those requiring it. At the same time he pro- 
vided the Navy with a list of War Shipping 
Administration troopships allocated to the 
Army, for which radar equipment was de- 
sired. But the Navy still was unwilling to 
commit itself to this proposal, and in stating 
its position stressed the security aspect and 
the fact that on Navy ships radar was part 
of the armament, its use as a navigational 
instrument being incidental. 94 

In January 1945 the Navy announced a 
plan to establish pools of radar equipment 

!l -Memo, CofT for CG NYPE, 8 Apr 43, sub: 
Radar, USAT James A. Parker, OCT 240-900 
James A. Parker. 

» 3 Memo, VCNO for Deputy Dir ODT, with 
copies to WD, WSA, etc., 29 Mar 44, OCT 413.44 
Troop Transports. 

n4 Memo, CofT for CNO USK, 3 Sep 44: Memo, 
CNO for CofT, 9 Oct 44. Both in OCT 413.44 
Troop Transports. 



under the control of the commanders of the 
Eastern and Western Sea Frontiers for in- 
stallation on fast, independently routed 
Army and WSA transports, the entire pro- 
gram to be limited to 150 sets of equipment 
and 450 men."'' In April further details as 
to the execution of the plan were an- 
nounced. By 7 July, however, radar instal- 
lations had been completed on only six 
Army transports; installations on sixteen 
others were under way or had been ar- 
ranged for. On that date a radiogram from 
Secretary of War Stimson, then en route to 
the Potsdam Conference on a transport 
which had been passing through heavy fog, 
expressed surprise that so few Army vessels 
had been provided with radar, in view of 
the large number of troops carried and the 
fact that Navy transports were so equipped, 
and requested a confidential report on the 
subject and advice as to steps being taken 
to remedy the omission. 9li 

Thereafter, the installation of radar on 
troopships was expedited. The Navy re- 
versed an earlier decision to include high 
speed tankers among the merchant ships to 
receive such equipment. 07 The Transporta- 
tion Corps renewed its effort to have radar 
installed on all War Shipping Administra- 
tion troop transports allocated to the Army 
and informed the ports of embarkation that 
if WSA should refuse to bear the cost of 

1,r 'Memo, CNO for Comdrs WSF and ESF, 10 
Jan 45, sub: Radar for use as Navigational Aid on 
Fast Troop Transports; Memo, CNO for BuPers 
and BuShips, 17 Apr 45. Both in OCT 413.44 
Troop Transports. 

Rad, Stimson for Marshall, 7 Jul 45, CM-IN 
6344: Memo, CG ASF for ACofS OPD, 11 Jul 
45, OCT 413.44 Troop Transports, reviews TC 
effort to obtain radar from November 1943. 

97 Memo, BuShips for Comdrs WSF and ESF, 
etc., 7 Jul 45, OCT 413.44 Troop Transports. 

installation, the Army would do so. BS Co- 
ordination of the installation program was 
assigned to the Chief Signal Officer, who 
designated the signal officers at the ports 
of embarkation as local co-ordinators. 

Assignment and Operation of Small Boats 

Aside from the ocean-going vessels re- 
ferred to above, the Army required small 
boats and other floating equipment for 
many purposes. The types with which the 
Chief of Transportation was concerned in- 
cluded tugs, barges, lighters, floating cranes, 
fireboats, launches, marine tractors, and 
dories for harbor use; tugs, barges, patrol 
boats, passenger and cargo vessels for coast- 
wise and interisland service; rescue and air- 
plane retrieving vessels for the Army Air 
Forces; mine laying and target vessels for 
the Coast Artillery Corps."" These units 
were under 1,000 gross tonnage and 200 
feet length ; they included both self-propelled 
and nonpropelled types. As a class they 
were known as "small boats" ; sometimes 
they were referred to as "harbor boats," but 
that designation was not accurate, since 
many types were built expressly for coast- 
wise and interisland service. 

In December 1 940 the Army had a total 
of 386 such boats. By the end of the war 
the fleet under the control of the Chief of 

!W Ltr, C of Water Div OCT for WSA, 19 Jul 
45 ; Memos, CofT for the several PE's, 1 Aug 45, 
sub: Installation of Radar Equip; Memo, CSigO 
for CG's of PE's, 10 Aug 45, sub: Installation of 
Nav Aids. All in OCT 413.44 Troop Transports. 

!,!) AR 55-510, par. 1, 9 Oct 42, sub: Harbor 
Boat Service. General characteristics of vessels 
shown in Report of Army Small Boat Construction, 
1 July 40 to 31 May 45, issued by WD, 18 Dec 45, 
in OCT HB Water Div Small Boats. See also Crit- 
chell Rimington, "The Army's Navy," Yachting 
(March 1943). 



Transportation had grown to 12,466 ves- 
sels. 100 Of the latter number, 3,413 were 
assigned to commands in the zone of in- 
terior, 7,791 had been dispatched or were 
assigned to oversea commands, 67 were 
assigned to lend-lease purposes, 995 were 
in the zone of interior awaiting assignment, 
and 200 had been reported as available for 
disposition. These figures, and the discussion 
in this section, relate only to vessels subject 
to assignment by the Transportation Corps; 
they do not comprehend Navy-procured 
landing craft, Ordnance-procured amphib- 
ious trucks, specialized vessels procured by 
the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Har- 
bors, or vessels acquired by the theater com- 
manders from oversea sources. 

In the zone of interior the largest users of 
small boats naturally were the ports of em- 
barkation. Their varied marine activities, 
sometimes involving widely separated facil- 
ities, called for numerous craft for the trans- 
portation of personnel and supplies within 
the harbors and the handling of cargo at 
shipside. On 1 August 1945 there were 377 
units of such floating equipment under 
assignment to the New York port com- 
mander, 275 to Seattle, 228 to San Fran- 
cisco, 164 to New Orleans, 125 to Boston, 
and lesser numbers to the other ports of 
embarkation, subports, and cargo ports, 
making a total of 1,337. The equipment 
assigned to the Seattle Port of Embarkation 
included that utilized in the Alaska Barge 
Service, established in 1942 to transport 
supplies from Seattle and Prince Rupert 
over the inside passage to Juneau, Skag- 

100 Gross final rpt, p. 72. Classification by de- 
signs and assignments is shown in statistical table, 
Harbor Boats in Service, in Storage, and Intransit, 
1 Aug 45, OCT HB Water Div Small Boats. 

way, and Excursion Inlet. 101 A total of 815 
units was assigned to the seaboard service 
commands and defense commands for the 
utilization of installations within their juris- 
dictions, 768 units were assigned to Army 
Air Forces headquarters, and 468 to the 
Chief of Engineers, some of which were 
actually utilized overseas. Twenty-five boats 
were assigned to other government agencies. 

Small boats were required by the over- 
sea theaters not only for port operation and 
the transportation of men and supplies be- 
tween ports and areas, but also for the sup- 
port of invasion operations. In the spring 
of 1942, when preparations were being 
made for a possible invasion of the Euro- 
pean Continent in the fall of that year, the 
military planners got their first inkling of 
the extent of the marine requirements for 
such an operation. 102 The marine procure- 
ment program was still in its infancy, and 
to supplement such new craft as could be 
counted on, a survey of river and coastwise 
vessels was made to determine how many 
would be suitable for cross-Channel serv- 
ice. 103 The result of this survey was not 
encouraging, and the lack of adequate float- 
ing equipment was one of the factors which 

101 Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 15 May 42, OCT 
544.2 Alaska; Min, Port Comdrs Conf, Boston, 30 
Aug 43, pp. 207, 209, in OCT HB PE Gen Port 
Comdrs Conf. Supplies were distributed inland 
from Juneau and Skagway and were transshipped 
to other Alaskan ports from Juneau and later from 
the newly constructed port at Excursion Inlet. 

102 CCS 15th Mtg, par. 7, 7 Apr 42; CCS 17th 
Mtg, par. 4, 28 Apr 42 ; Memo, Gen Somervell for 
Admiral King, 13 Apr 42: Memo, Col Wylie for 
Gen Gios", 1 3 May 42, sub: Cross-Channel Boats. 
Last two in OCT HB Gross European Theater 

103 Memo, Wylie for Gross, 29 Apr 42, sub: 
Procurement of Small Fast Passenger Ships, OCT 
HB Wylie Staybacks ; Memo, Gross for Somervell, 
2 Jul 42; Memo within WSA, Ralph Keating for 
the Administrator, 7 Aug 42. Last two in OCT HB 
Gross European Theater Boats. 



made a cross-Channel operation in 1942 
appear impractical. 104 When the invasion 
actually took place two years later it was 
with the benefit of a mature and carefully 
planned marine procurement program. On 
1 April 1945, just before the German sur- 
render, the Transportation Corps had 1,845 
boats of this category in the European thea- 
ter, including 887 barges, 295 marine trac- 
tors, 287 towing launches, 95 other 
launches, 167 tugs, 45 tankers, and 50 float- 
ing cranes. 1 " 5 Naturally the British contrib- 
uted heavily of their small boats for opera- 
tions in Europe, and many landing craft 
and other small vessels of the U.S. Navy 
were utilized in the assault on the Nor- 
mandy coast. 

The need for floating equipment was 
especially critical in the Pacific, because 
each move toward Japan was over a water 
route and because so many military opera- 
tions involved the landing of men and sup- 
plies at undeveloped beachheads or primi- 
tive ports. The first-mentioned circumstance 
created a demand for both large and small 
vessels for operation between bases within 
the theater; the second created a need for 
harbor craft to discharge vessels lying off- 
shore. To illustrate the latter point: a study 
prepared by the Joint Logistics Plans Com- 
mittee during the summer of 1944 con- 
cerning lighter equipment for planned op- 
erations in the Pacific enumerated 89 ports 
and beachheads to be used, of which only 

im -j-Q was p rocur i n g landing craft at that time, 
but since they were essentially combat vessels, their 
procurement was made exclusively a Navy function 
in September 1942. See Memo, ACofS OPD for 
CG SOS, 14 Sep 42, OPD 560 (Harbor Boats and 
Harbor Boat Service) Sec 3 (81-139). 

105 Harbor Boats in Service, in Storage, and In- 
transit, 1 Apr 45, OCT HB Water Div Small Boats. 

1 1 would afford facilities for docking trans- 
ports. 106 

The theater commander in the South- 
west Pacific Area foresaw these needs, and 
his accumulated requisitions for small boats 
ran into large figures. In addition to such 
used boats as could be acquired locally, 
more than 3,100, mostly the smaller types, 
were constructed in the theater for the 
Transportation Corps and 2,504, including 
the larger types, were constructed in the 
zone of interior and assigned to the thea- 
ter. 107 Of the latter number, 1,896 boats 
were actually in the theater on 1 August 
1945, including 708 barges and lighters, 209 
freight supply boats, 260 towing launches, 
208 other launches, 171 tugs, and 180 ma- 
rine tractors. Late in 1943 Admiral King 
expressed the fear that the Transportation 
Corps procurement program to meet 
SWPA requirements was wasteful of both 
materials and personnel and recommended 
that it be referred to the Joint Logistics 
Committee for study. That committee ap- 
proved the program and proposed measures 
for meeting the problem of manning; soon 
thereafter the entire TC marine procure- 
ment program received the sanction of the 
Joint Production Survey Committee. 108 

Since the Pacific Ocean Areas was a 
Navy command it received most of its 
small boats through Navy channels, but on 
1 August 1945 the Chief of Transportation 

106 An. A to App. A of JLPC paper, Lighter 
Equipment for Port Operation, OCT HB Topic 
Army-Navy Joint Logistics. 

I£J Harbor Boats in Service, 1 Aug 45, cited n. 

llOOj OCT HB Monograph, U.S. Army Trans in 
Southwest Pacific Area, 1941-47, pp. 368-80, gives 
details about SWPA small boat program. 

108 JCS 644, 24 Dec 43; JCS 644/1, 14 Mar 44; 
JCS 573/3, 20 May 44. For exposition of TC 
position regarding construction and manning see 
Memo, CofT for Joint Logistics Com, 5 Jan 44, 
OCT HB Gross Day File. 

BOATS BUILT FOR THEATER SERVICE. Motor tow launches, 46-foot, in wet 
storage at the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation awaiting assignment to Pacific 
theaters (top). Interisland supply vessel, 168-foot (bottom). 



had 764 units under assignment to that 
theater. The other principal oversea assign- 
ments of TC floating equipment on that 
date were 1,815 to the European theater, 
912 to the Alaska command, 510 to the 
Panama Canal command, 458 to the Asi- 
atic theater (China, Burma, India), 309 to 
the Mediterranean theater, and 221 to the 
Antilles command. 

Marine equipment was acquired by the 
Chief of Transportation through purchase, 
charter, or new construction. The old vessels 
which were purchased or chartered from 
private owners or from other government 
agencies were a relatively small proportion 
of the total, but they were welcome addi- 
tions to the fleet in view of the limited num- 
ber of new craft that could be built. The 
total of 1,647 units acquired during the 
fiscal year 1945 included 1,422 new vessels 
delivered under TC contracts, 121 acquired 
by purchase through the War Shipping 
Administration, 77 chartered from the 
Office of Defense Transportation, and 27 
transferred from the Corps of Engineers. 1 "" 

All requests for vessels needed by the 
various elements of the Army were made to 
the Chief of Transportation. 110 Such re- 
quests were passed on first by the Water 
Division, which checked the validity of 
the need and the suitability of the designs. 
Approved requests then were sent to the 
Director of Supply, who either contracted 
for the construction of new vessels or under- 
took to find suitable used equipment. 111 The 

1,m Annual Rpt, Water Div OCT, FY 1945, p. 
13, OCT HB Water Div Rpts. 

110 AG 561 (1-30-42) MO-D-M, 31 Jan 42, 
sub: Acquisition of Vessels under 1,000 tons; WD 
Memo W55-9-42, 4 Dec 42, sub: same, OCT HB 
Water Div Small Boats. 

1,1 Memo, Water Div OCT for Wardlow, 28 
Nov 42, OCT HB Water Div Small Boats; Memo, 
C of Water Div OCT for ACofT for Supply OCT, 
9 Dec 43, sub: Procurement of Used Vessels, OCT 

distribution of used vessels to the various 
government agencies requiring them was 
controlled by a committee representing the 
Army, the Navy, and the Maritime Com- 
mission (later, the War Shipping Adminis- 
tration), which was established during the 
early weeks of the war as an element of the 
Strategic Shipping Board. 

The program of small boat construction 
which was administered by the Director of 
Supply was a major undertaking. The pro- 
cedures and problems involved in such pro- 
curement will be dealt with in some detail 
in another volume of Transportation Corps 
history. Here it will suffice to state that 
during the fiscal years 1942 through 1945 
marine equipment with an aggregate value 
of $833,991,000 was completed under con- 
tracts let by the Army. 11 " The great increase 
in the volume of procurement during the 
war period is seen in the fact that whereas 
the value of marine equipment completed 
and accepted during the fiscal year 1942 
was $34,368,000, during the fiscal year 
1944 it was $371,674,000. 

The Transportation Corps' late entrance 
into the market for marine equipment, after 
construction facilities and materials had 
been heavily committed under Navy and 
Maritime Commission contracts, together 
with the general scarcity of materials, 
equipment, and labor, placed it at a dis- 
advantage, and in the beginning its progress 
in marine procurement was slow. In No- 
vember 1943, in connection with his inquiry 
into the progress of the troopship conversion 
program, the Director of W r ar Mobilization 
informed the Secretary of War that he was 

11 - OCT HB Monograph 28, Table A. The figure 
includes some Marine equipment procured by QMC 
during FY 1942. It does not include equipment 
procured by the Navy and Maritime Commission 
for TC account, nor does it include marine sup- 



"somewhat persuaded" that the deletion of 
marine procurement from TC functions 
would leave the corps in a better position 
to cope with its other heavy responsibil- 
ities. 113 The Secretary of War in reply 
argued strongly that if the Army was to be 
in a position to respond promptly to the 
requirements of the commanders in the 
field, the procurement of equipment to meet 
those requirements should be lodged in the 
agency charged with the review and ap- 
proval of the design and use of such equip- 
ment — in other words, the Transportation 
Corps. 114 Such procurement remained a TC 
responsibility throughout the war. 

The assignment of appropriate floating 
equipment to meet the needs of zone of 
interior installations and oversea commands 
was a function of the Chief of Transporta- 
tion, which he delegated to the chief of his 
Water Division, who in turn entrusted the 
details to the Harbor Boat Branch. 115 Two 
exceptions are to be noted. Throughout the 
war the assignment of mine laying and mine 
tending vessels was handled by the Coast 
x\rtillery Corps. In the early part of the 
war the Chief of Transportation assigned 
Army Air Forces vessels in accordance with 
AAF requests, but from September 1944 
this function was performed directly by 
AAF. 110 Although equipment was con- 
tracted for on the basis of specific requests 
from the field, the Chief of Transportation 

113 Ltr, 3 Nov 43, OCT 564 Army Vessels Oct 
43-May 44. 

114 Ltr, 23 Nov 43, OGS 570, 1943. 

115 TC Pamphlet 1, Org Manual, Sec. 301.00, 
par. 11, April 1944, OCT HB Org Manuals; AR 
55-305, 10 Oct 42. 

116 WD Cir 388, par. If, 27 Sep 44; AAF Reg 
65-89, par. 2 (2), 12 Oct 44; Memo, CG AAF 
for CofT, 19 Dec 42; 1st Ind, CofT for CG AAF, 
13 Apr 43; 2d Ind, CG AAF for CofT, 31 May 
43. Last three in OCT 563-900 Cargo Vessels 

did not commit vessels in advance of their 
completion, since conditions were changing 
continually and it was considered advisable 
that each unit be assigned where it was most 
urgently needed at the time it became avail- 
able. 117 

The Harbor Boat Branch endeavored to 
maintain up-to-date records on all vessels 
under its jurisdiction, showing the char- 
acteristics of the vessels and their employ- 
ment. It was fairly successful as regards 
those which remained in the zone of interior 
but found it impossible to hold the oversea 
commands accountable for the vessels as- 
signed to them. Ports of embarkation and 
other zone of interior installations were in- 
structed to submit reports on the operating 
expenses and the activities of the harbor 
boats which they utilized, but in view of 
the pressure under which the installations 
worked and the large amount of detail in- 
volved in compiling such reports the regula- 
tion was not enforced. 118 

The Transportation Corps had differing 
degrees of responsibility for the operation 
and maintenance of the Army's small boats. 
Vessels assigned to TC installations in the 
zone of interior were entirely its responsibil- 
ity. They were manned with civilian crews, 
supplied, and maintained by the installa- 
tions in accordance with policies established 
by the Chief of Transportation. Vessels as- 
signed to other installations in the zone of 
interior, except the specialized Coast Ar- 
tillery and Air Forces vessels, were manned 
with civilians, supplied, and maintained 
by those installations under the supervision 
of the service commanders and in accord- 
ance with TC policies, except that the 

117 1st Ind, CofT for SPE, 22 Apr 43, OCT 

118 WD Cir 327, Sec. 2, 16 Dec 43; Conf, author 
with Maj H. M. Miles, 18 Aug 48, OCT HB 
Water Div Small Boats. 



Transportation Corps controlled repairs 
which were not performable by the crews 
and supplied spare parts and technical ad- 
vice when needed. 11 " Mine planting and 
mine tending vessels were manned with 
military crews, operated, and maintained 
by the Coast Artillery Corps, except that 
the Transportation Corps supplied spare 
parts, gave technical advice, and took re- 
sponsibility for the heavier maintenance 
work. 120 AAF rescue and retrieving vessels 
employed in the zone of interior were op- 
erated and maintained in a similar manner 
until September 1944 when AAF was as- 
signed complete responsibility, with the 
privilege of calling on the Chief of Trans- 
portation for technical advice and spare 
parts and for aid in arranging for the use 
of repair facilities. 121 Vessels employed in 
the oversea commands were solely the re- 
sponsibility of the oversea commanders, 
except that the Chief of Transportation 
established policies in regard to crews and 
maintenance and supplied needed spare 
parts and equipment. Some of the vessels 
stationed overseas were manned with civil- 
ian crews, some with military crews, and 
some with Coast Guard personnel. 

Most new boats, except the specialized 
Coast Artillery and Air Forces craft, were 

119 ~yq a ]l oca t e tl repair work to ports of embarka- 
tion, service commands, or commercial repair shops 
according to circumstances. See AR 55-510, par. 
2, 9 Oct 42. 

120 See Memo, CofT for CG 9th SvC, 9 May 44; 
1st Ind, CG 9th SvC for CofT, 19 May 44. Both 
in OCT 564 9th SvC. 

121 WD Memo W55-28-43, 25 Jun 43, sub: 
Maintenance of AAF Floating Equipment, OCT HB 
Water Div Small Boats; AAF Reg 65-89, par. 3, 
1 2 Oct 44. AAF used civilian crews during the early 
part of the war, but began replacing them with 
military crews in 1943. See Memo within Mainte- 
nance and Repair Br OCT (Hoch for Warren), 18 
Mar 43, OCT HB Water Div Small Boats; also 
Memo, CG AAF for CofT, 11 May 43, OCT 231.8 
New Orleans. 

delivered on completion to ports of em- 
barkation, by which they were dispatched 
to the assignees or held in wet storage pend- 
ing assignment. In either case the vessels 
received a thorough processing at the ports 
to prepare them for efficient operation. 
Because of hasty construction as well as 
changing ideas regarding design and equip- 
ment, the repair work performed at the 
ports was considerable. 122 Sometimes, when 
vessels proceeding under their own power 
to oversea stations passed through two or 
more ports, each port undertook to make 
the repairs and alterations which it con- 
sidered necessary. In an effort to eliminate 
unnecessary work of this nature, a repre- 
sentative of the Water Division visited the 
ports of embarkation and listed the repairs 
and alterations customarily made on each 
type of craft. From this information a 
master list was prepared, including all 
changes considered necessary to place the 
vessels in proper operating condition. These 
changes were incorporated in the construc- 
tion contracts subsequently let, and the 
ports were instructed to make no further 
alterations on vessels delivered under such 
contracts without prior approval of the 
Water Division. The ports were also in- 
structed to limit the repairs and alterations 
of vessels delivered under old contracts to 
those contained in the master list. 123 

Manning of Small Boats 

Early in 1943 it was apparent that extra- 
ordinary means would have to be employed 
to provide crews for the several thousand 

122 See Memos, Maintenance and Repair Br 
(Warren) for C of Water Div OCT, 21 and 23 
Jun 43, OCT 564 Army Vessels, concerning defi- 
ciencies in newly constructed vessels. 

123 Mtg of Supts of Water Divs, Chicago, 7 Jul 
44, pp. 12, 13, OCT HB Water Div Misc. 



units of floating equipment for which the 
Transportation Corps had contracted. In 
May the Water Division estimated that 
10,000 marine officers and seamen would 
be needed for the small boats that would 
be delivered in the United States during the 
next twelve months, and at about the same 
time General MacArthur indicated that 
4,000 would be required for boats being 
built in Australia. 124 

Several methods were adopted to provide 
this personnel. Since it was becoming in- 
creasingly difficult to engage civilian crew- 
men and since military crews were desirable 
for certain types of vessels which served in 
the forward areas, the Transportation 
Corps began the training of harbor craft 
companies at the Charleston Port of Em- 
barkation in March 1943, and later in the 
year moved this activity to Camp Gordon 
Johnston, Carrabelle, Fla., where it could 
be conducted on a broader scale. A total of 
12,782 officers and men were trained under 
this program in the zone of interior, and 
companies embracing more than 3,000 were 
activated overseas. 123 During the summer of 
1943 an intensive campaign to recruit civil- 
ian marine personnel was launched, in 
which 40 government and private agencies 
and 44 marine publications were called 
upon for aid. Concurrently a Marine 
Officer Cadet School was established at St. 
Petersburg, Fla., and schools to provide 
additional training for civilians already 
holding licenses in the deck and engine 
departments were opened at the ports of 
embarkation at New Orleans, New York, 
and San Francisco. About 20,000 civilians 

124 Memo, C of Civ Pers Div OCT for Exec Off 
OCT, 1 Aug 43, OCT HB Ind Pers Div Civ- 
Marine Pers. 

123 OCT HB Monograph 26, pp. 57-66, Exhibit 
II. This military training program will be dis- 
cussed in detail in another volume of TC history. 

were employed on small boats at the end 
of the war. The need for military crews in 
the Southwest Pacific had not been fully 
met in the spring of 1944, and it was de- 
cided to place Coast Guard crews on some 
of the boats operating in the forward areas 
of that theater. In August 1945 there were 
Coast Guard crews on 250 Army boats, 
totaling 6,851 officers and men. 126 

The most critical need was for qualified 
licensed officers. The Marine Officer Cadet 
School graduated 1,073 civilian junior deck 
officers and 1,107 civilian junior engine 
officers — a total of 2,180 — during its period 
of operation, August 1943 to April 1945. 127 
The site had been used by the United States 
Maritime Service, an agency of the War 
Shipping Administration, for training pur- 
poses, and it was arranged that the incum- 
bent training staff should remain. The 
Transportation Corps supplied additional 
marine equipment, built barracks, provided 
uniforms and subsistence, and reimbursed 
WSA for its out-of-pocket expenses. The 
cadets were selected from among the gradu- 
ates of the several WSA training institu- 
tions, after very severe tests. So carefully 
were these cadets chosen that only 103 
of the 2,283 who started the course failed 
to complete it satisfactorily. About 750 of 
the graduates were commissioned in the 
Army and were assigned to TC harbor 
boat companies, and the remainder were 

12n JCS 644/1, 14 Mar 44; Memo by Joint Sec- 
retariat, 22 Mar 44, approving JCL recommenda- 
tions with slight modifications, OCT 231.8 Army 
Vessels; Memo, Acting Comdt USCG for CofT, 20 
Aug 45, OCT 231.8 Army Vessels. OCT HB 
Monograph, U. S. Army Trans in Southwest Pacific 
Area, 1941-47, pp. 608-36, discusses marine per- 
sonnel problems in SWPA, including small boat 

v ~" Rpt, Ind Pers Div OCT, FY 1945, Section 
on Tng Marine Off s, OCT HS Ind Pers Div Gen ; 
Conf, author with Col Alexander Corey, 24 Aug 
48, OCT HB Ind Pers Div Civ Marine Pers. 



sent to the Civilian Marine School at New 
Orleans for further training as civilian 
officers. 128 The schools at New York and 
San Francisco, which were in operation 
only about one year, provided final training 
and tests for young civilian marine officers 
who were shipped overseas from those ports. 
All civilian training activities were under 
the general supervision of the Industrial 
Personnel Division in the Office of the Chief 
of Transportation. 

Initially, an effort was made to place 
permanent crews on new vessels when they 
were delivered at the contractors' plants, 
but because of the scarcity of personnel 
qualified for oversea service and the un- 
willingness of many civilian seamen to 
sign the articles of a vessel whose area of 
employment had not been determined, it 
was decided during the spring of 1943 to 
utilize delivery crews for moving vessels to 
the ports of embarkation and to reserve 
the assignment of permanent crews until 
the boats were ready to go into service. 129 
In June the respective ports were furnished 
lists of vessels which were to be delivered to 
or through them and were instructed to 
establish delivery crew pools and recruit as 
many men for these pools as might reason- 
ably be required. 130 Thereafter such lists 
were distributed at intervals in accordance 
with information furnished by the Director 
of Supply, and the ports were requested to 
confirm the delivery dates with the con- 

128 The New Orleans school absorbed the cadet 
school in April 1 945. Its activities are reviewed in 
Memo, Paul C. Grening for Acting Dir of Opns 
OCT, 19 Apr 45, OCT HB Ind Pers Div Civ 
Marine Pers. 

120 Memo, CofT for CG SPE, 27 Mar 43, OCT 
231.8 Seattle. Similar memos to other ports. 

130 Memo, CofT for CG NOPE, 9 Jun 43, OCT 
231.8 Harbor Boat Pers 1943. Similar memos to 
other ports. 

tractors, in order that crews would be on 
hand to take over the vessels as soon as 
they were ready. 131 Beginning in the spring 
of 1944 the Army Air Forces provided 
delivery crews for vessels procured by the 
Transportation Corps for AAF use. 132 

The delivery pools, or harbor boat cadres, 
not only provided reservoirs from which 
crews could be drawn as required but also 
afforded an opportunity for training men 
who were not fully qualified when they 
were employed. Though these cadres were 
utilized principally in providing delivery 
crews, when occasion required they were 
drawn on also for permanent crews. 133 
Authorized ceilings for harbor boat cadres 
were set by the Chief of Transportation, 
but the ports were instructed to employ at 
a given time only as many men as they 
believed would be required in the near 
future. Therefore the size of the cadres 
varied as the prospective deliveries of vessels 
fluctuated. Theoretically such cadres were 
kept separate from the transport crew 
cadres, referred to earlier in this chapter, 
but qualified men were considered inter- 
changeable in case of need. 

The manning scales for harbor boats and 
other floating equipment were authorized 
by the Industrial Personnel Division in the 
Office of the Chief of Transportation, on 
recommendation of the Water Division, 
which in turn was guided by the experience 

131 Memo, CofT for CG SFPE, 1 Sep 43, OCT 
561,2—563.5 San Francisco. For complete directions 
regarding acceptance, delivery, storage, and ship- 
ment of floating equipment see TC Cir 80—15 rev., 
13 Sep 44. 

132 Memo, CofT for CG AAF, 24 May 44, OCT 
HB Water Div Small Boats. 

333 Conf, author with Maj E. H. Buysse, 26 Aug 
48, OCT HB Ind Pers Div Civ Marine Pers. 
Major Buysse was chief of Field Service Branch, 
Industrial Personnel Division, during the war. 



of the ports of embarkation. 134 Because of 
the scarcity of competent personnel, an 
effort was made to limit crew strengths to 
the practical minimum. The chiefs of the 
water divisions at the ports, who were re- 
sponsible for the assignment of crews, were 
instructed to spread experienced officers as 
thinly as possible, but to be sure that each 
vessel was "properly manned" and to notify 
the port civilian personnel officers if the 
men made available did not have the neces- 
sary qualifications. 135 The Industrial Per- 
sonnel Division endeavored to maintain 
up-to-date lists of the civilian employees on 
each vessel in order to facilitate the 
handling of insurance claims and depend- 
ency benefits. Such information was received 
regularly from installations in the zone of 
interior, but the oversea commands reported 
changes in crews very irregularly. 13 " 

The Industrial Personnel Division, acting 
with the advice of the Water Division, 
established the basis of compensation for 
civilian crews. For this purpose the Army's 
small boats were classified as harbor boats 
or interisland vessels. 137 As in the case of the 
ocean-going vessels, wages and bonuses for 
small boats followed the practices in the 
maritime industry and the decisions of the 
Maritime War Emergency Board. Overtime 
was not paid until after the issuance of the 

134 Memo, CofT for CG NOPE, 1 1 May 43, OCT 
231.8 Harbor Boat Pers 1943. Strength of crews 
authorized for various types of vessels is shown 
in attachment to Memo, Water Div for Dir of 
Mil Tng OCT, 6 Dec 43, in same file. 

135 Memo, CofT for NOPE, 20 May 43, OCT 
231.8 New Orleans; Mtg of Supts of Water Divs, 
Chicago, 7 Jul 44, pp. 14, 15, OCT HB Water Div 

13,5 Memo, CofT for CG SPE, 5 Feb 43, OCT 
231.8 Seattle; Memo, CofT for CG APO 851 N.Y., 
16 Apr 43, OCT HB Wa ter Div Small Boats; Conf 
with Buysse cited |n, 1 33. | 

137 Rpt, Dir of Pers, FY 1944, Ind Pers Sec, p. 7, 
OCT HB Dir of Pers, 

War Department's policy governing vessels 
on 31 October 1942. Insofar as possible, the 
Army's overtime rates were based on the 
prevailing rates for similar types of vessels 
in the respective localities. 13 * Where no pre- 
vailing overtime rate could be established, 
as frequently was the case in oversea areas, 
the Army rate was in accordance with 
Public Law 821, 77th Congress, which pro- 
vided for the payment of time and a half 
for work over forty hours per week. 

In the spring of 1943 the Southwest 
Pacific Area, which already had a large 
number of vessels employed in intra- 
theater services, reported that great diffi- 
culty was being experienced in administer- 
ing the complicated system of war bonuses 
applicable to the seamen who signed the 
usual ship's articles. Also the theater was 
losing the services of many experienced men 
who desired to return to the United States 
after a period in foreign waters, some 
claiming that the home ports from which 
they shipped had not made it clear that 
their vessels would remain overseas. These 
difficulties existed not only in connection 
with the crews of small boats but also with 
crews of the limited number of Army- 
operated ocean-going vessels permanently 
assigned to the theater. In order to meet 
the problem a new form of individual con- 
tract was developed, calling for one year of 
service overseas and providing for a flat 
payment of 100 percent of the base wage 
in lieu of all bonuses. This additional pay- 
ment approximated the average bonus pay- 
ments to seamen serving overseas under 
ship's articles. The individual contract gave 
a clearer definition of the employee's rights 

138 OCT Memo CPRTC 20-80, 23 Jan 43, sub: 
Overtime Compensation for Crew Members of 
Harbor and Interisland Class Boats, OCT HB Ind 
Pers Div Civ Marine Pers. 



and responsibilities than did the ship's 
articles. It expressly stated that the em- 
ployee was eligible for treatment by the 
Medical Corps and thus cleared up a dis- 
puted point which had given trouble in the 
past. The contract form soon was revised 
to provide for service over a mutually 
agreed period, rather than for a year. 139 
Although this type of contract had been 
devised particularly for SWPA, it was 
suitable for and was extensively used in the 
employment of marine personnel to serve 
in other theaters. Alaska, it may be noted, 
had a special form of contract which took 
into account conditions peculiar to that 

Subsequently a shorter form of individual 
contract, known as an agreement of enroll- 
ment, was introduced, which by reference 
incorporated all the pertinent provisions of 
the law and the Transportation Corps 
Marine Personnel Regulations. 140 It was 
used particularly in employing marine per- 
sonnel who were to be put through a course 
of training at Transportation Corps expense 
before being sent overseas. From the TC 
standpoint the object was to attract and 
hold good men, build up an esprit de corps 
which could not exist among casuals, and 
reduce the turnover in Army crews. The in- 
ducements from the individual's standpoint 
included steady employment, increased skill 
acquired at government expense, prefer- 
ence in job assignments, and more rapid 

139 Contract Forms WDTC CPD #2 SWP and 
WDTC CPD #3 Gen (rev.), OCT HB Ind 
Pers Div Civ Marine Pers; Rpt, Dir of Pers FY 
1944, Ind Pers Sec, p 2, OC T HB Dir of Pers; 
Conf with Buysse, cited |n. \HT\ 

140 Conf, author with Col Alexander Corey, 26 
Mar 48, OCT HB PE Gen Transport Crews; Rpt, 
Ind Pers Div, FY 1945, p. 1, OCT HB Ind Pers 
Div Gen; see form, Agreement of Enrollment 
(rev.), 1 Jun 45, OCT HB Ind Pers Div Civ 
Marine Pers. 

advancement. The contract provided that, 
if the employee should breach the agree- 
ment, he could be required to reimburse the 
government for the reasonable cost of the 
formal training which he had received and 
the cost of travel to his first duty station 
after enrollment. No record of breached 
contracts is available, but the number was 
small in relation to the number of enrolled 
employees and did not detract from the 
value of the plan. 141 

Civilian officers and crewmen on small 
boats had the same status under civil service 
as did the crews on the Army's ocean-going 
vessels. They were not required to undergo 
competitive examinations, their appoint- 
ments were not subject to prior approval by 
the commission, and their compensation was 
not governed by the Classification Act. On 
the other hand, they enjoyed all the privi- 
leges of civil service employees, includ- 
ing the leave and retirement features. Other 
benefits provided for in Transportation 
Corps Marine Personnel Regulations were 
equally applicable to them. 

The seamen on small boats were eligible 
for occupational deferments under the 
Selective Service Act if they were engaged 
in "active ocean-going service." At first 
this was interpreted to apply only to those 
engaged in coastal or offshore service, but 
later, in view of the difficulty of obtaining 
competent crews, it was permissible to 
request deferment for crewmen on boats 
assigned to ports of embarkation in the zone 
of interior. 112 The policy of the Chief of 

141 Conf, author with Anthony J. Clemente, Ind 
Pers Div OCT, 30 Aug 48, OCT HB Ind Pers Div 
Civ Marine Pers. 

142 OCT Misc Ltr 56, 17 Feb 45, sub: Occu- 
pational Deferment of Employees Assigned to 
Harbor Boats; TC Marine Pers Cir 5, 18 Apr 45, 
sub: Marine Deferments. Both in OCT HB Ind 
Pers Div Civ Marine Pers. 



Transportation, however, was not to seek 
deferments for marine personnel employed 
on vessels which were operated entirely 
within domestic harbors. 

Proposals Regarding Marine Personnel 

On 1 August 1945 the large and small 
vessels which were manned with civilian 
crews provided by the Chief of Transporta- 
tion had positions for 33,846 officers and 
men. Of these, 14,755. were on vessels 
assigned to oversea stations and 19,091 
were on vessels assigned to commands in the 
zone of interior. Broken down in another 
way, the total included 7,909 positions on 
Army troop and cargo transports, 3,508 on 
Army hospital ships, 10,018 on interisland 
vessels which were chiefly in the small boat 
class, 11,467 on harbor boats, and 944 on 
boats of the Army Air Forces, 143 

The foregoing pages have indicated some 
of the problems involved in providing a 
sufficient number of competent men to fill 
these positions. While the results were good 
under the circumstances, they left some- 
thing to be desired. The number of men 
available for this service was severely limited 
by the requirements of the armed forces and 
the attractiveness of jobs offered by other 
war industries. Men with marine experience 
had to be employed regardless of records of 
irresponsibility, because experience is some- 
thing for which there is no substitute. In- 
experienced men had to be trained hastily 
and placed in positions of responsibility 
without adequate seasoning. 

The majority of the men who served on 
Army transports and small boats during the 
war did so in a civilian status. While many 

143 Civ Marine Pers Recapitulation, 1 Aug 45, 
OCT HB Ind Pers Div Civ Marine Pers. Many 
small boats did not require permanent crews, such 
as barges, lighters, dories, and row boats. 

arguments were offered in favor of com- 
plete militarization of crews, especially the 
crews on vessels assigned to the theaters, 
there were practical considerations to the 
contrary. The principal consideration was 
that many experienced marine officers and 
seamen could be utilized satisfactorily as 
civilians, although they would not have 
been eligible for military service because of 
age or physical limitations. Complete 
militarization of crews would have involved 
using a larger percentage of inexperienced 
men and would have necessitated deflect- 
ing a considerable number of young men 
from the fighting elements of the armed 
forces where youth and physical stamina 
are more essential. 

In view of the fact that the demand for 
civilian marine personnel probably would be 
heavy in case of another national emergency, 
thought was given to ways and means of 
avoiding some of the handicaps experienced 
by the Army in World War II. Mr. Paul C. 
Grening, who served in an advisory capacity 
in the W ater Division after long experience 
as a master of merchant vessels, considered 
the establishment of a permanent civilian 
organization for such personnel highly desir- 
able. 144 Such an organization eventually 
would acquire traditions and prestige, 
would give the men a greater sense of per- 
forming an essential war service, and would 
improve esprit de corps. If the Army could 
furnish uniforms to the unlicensed ratings, 
which it did not have authority to do during 
World W r ar II, that feature would add to 
the attractiveness of the service. While the 
provision of adequate and competent 
marine personnel to meet the greatly en- 

144 Conf, author with Grening, 4 Nov 44; Memo, 
Grening for Dir of Opns OCT, 19 Apr 45, sub: 
New Orleans Trip. Both in OCT HB Ind Pers Div 
Civ Marine Pers. 



larged requirements of war must always 
remain a problem, Grening believed that 
much could be done in advance to lighten 
the difficulty. 

Col. Alexander Corey, Chief of the In- 
dustrial Personnel Division, who dealt with 
recruiting and training problems through- 
out the war, proposed the establishment of 
a system for selecting, training, and allocat- 
ing personnel for manning merchant vessels, 
including the smaller types, separate from 
but similar to the selective service system 
under which personnel was supplied to the 
several branches of the armed forces. 145 The 

physical requirements would be less severe 
than those under Selective Service. Besides 
solving the problem of crew turnover and 
improving discipline and efficiency, Corey 
pointed out that such a plan would elimi- 
nate competition for men among the several 
government agencies which operate vessels 
and would assure distribution of the avail- 
able personnel according to carefully deter- 
mined requirements. It would add the 
dignity and prestige which this type of 
service does not have when it is run on a 
purely voluntary basis in wartime. 140 

115 Memo to Capt R. G. Miller, Exec Office 
OCT, 19 Oct 45, OCT 561.4 Joint Army-Navy 
Shipbuilding Program. 

14G For review of various possibilities in the light 
of wartime experience see Memo, Gen Wylie for 
Gen Leavey, 6 Jan 46, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 


Other Marine Operations 
and Problems 

The operating matters discussed in the 
preceding chapter related to vessels which 
were owned by or were under bareboat 
charter to the Army, but the Chief of Trans- 
portation had operating responsibilities in 
connection with all vessels utilized by the 
Army, including those of the War Shipping 
Administration and the Navy. He was re- 
sponsible for the efficient operation of 
the Army ports of embarkation where most 
of the vessels were loaded and discharged; 
for the efficient utilization of the ships' 
time and carrying capacity; and for the 
alteration of the vessels to adapt them to 
Army requirements. It is with the perform- 
ance of these responsibilities that the present 
chapter is concerned. 

Pier Operation and Stevedoring 

The port operations of the Transporta- 
tion Corps in the zone of interior during 
the latter part of the war repeatedly in- 
volved the loading in a single month of 
more -than 400 cargo vessels carrying more 
than 4,000,000 measurement tons of cargo, 
besides 60 to 80 troop transports with vary- 
ing cargo capacities. 1 The facilities and pro- 
cedures for accomplishing this task were 
developed chiefly after we entered the war. 

1 Monthly summaries, Planned and Actual Sail- 
ngs of Army Loaded Vessels, OCT HB Water Div 
r essel Opns Analysis. 

Reports made by a representative of The 
Quartermaster General's Transportation 
Division during the spring of 1941 indicated 
that the equipment and techniques em- 
ployed by Army ports of embarkation prior 
to the emergency had been antiquated and 
that the improvement achieved up to date 
of reporting had been limited. 2 The findings 
of an expert who was assigned to study op- 
erations at the New York Port of Embarka- 
tion early in 1941 started a cycle of im- 
provements, which was continued after 
responsibility for the ports had been taken 
over by the Chief of Transportation in 
March 1942. Recognizing the importance 
of the loading operation in getting optimum 
service from the available ships and prompt 
dispatch of supplies to the forces overseas, 
General Gross kept this phase of port 
activity under constant observation and 

During peacetime the ports of embarka- 
tion at New York and San Francisco, each 
of which operated a single Army-owned 
terminal, employed both dock and long- 
shore labor by direct hire and utilized such 
labor under the direct management of the 
superintendent of the Army Transport 

2 Memo, Col D. C. Cordiner, retiring C of Trans 
Div OQMG, 29 Mar 41, p. 8; Memo, Col Cor- 
diner for Col T. H. Dillon, C of Trans Div OQMG, 
12 May 41, p. 3. Both in OCT HB OQMG Water 
Trans Br. 



Service. 3 The policy of employing dock 
labor by direct hire was in effect throughout 
the war at most Army terminals, though a 
few were operated by contractors. Most 
longshore labor, on the other hand, was 
provided by contracting stevedores. The 
New York Port of Embarkation continued 
to engage longshoremen by direct hire for 
the Brooklyn Army base, but contracting 
stevedores were employed at the many other 
terminals which it leased and operated. 4 
The San Francisco Port of Embarkation 
continued to employ longshore labor 
directly for the old Army base at Fort 
Mason, and followed the same practice at 
the new Army base at Oakland, but it 
engaged contracting stevedores to handle 
vessels loaded at leased commercial piers. 5 
At the many new ports which were estab- 
lished by the Army during the emergency, 
contracting stevedores were employed. The 
general policy of the Chief of Transporta- 
tion was to use the most responsible steve- 
doring contractors available but to avoid 
concentrating the work at any port in the 
hands of a single stevedore. 6 

3 Memo, Trans Div OQMG for Gen Sv Div 
(Congressional Br) OQMG, 23 May 41, sub: 
Loading and Discharge of Army Transports; Conf, 
author with Mr. Joel P. Shedd, Jr., Sp Asst, Legal 
Div OCT, 25 May 48. Both in OCT HB PE Gen 

4 Memo within Water Div OCT (Warwick for 
Kells), 17 Jul 42, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring; 
Ltr, CofT to Maritime Terminal Company, New 
York, 23 Jul 42, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring; 
Memo, NYPE for OCT, 28 Mar 42, OCT 486.1 
New York; Conf, author with Mr. D. J. McKenzie, 
Stevedoring and Ship Facilities Br Water Div 
OCT, 28 May 48, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring. 

5 Memo, C of Water Div OCT for CofT, 1 1 Nov 
42, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring; Memo, TIG for 
CofT, 4 Apr 42, and atchd rpt by Col McFayden, 
1 Apr 42 ; Memo, C of Opns Div OCT for CofT, 
16 Apr 42, sub: Cargo Handling at San Francisco. 
Last two in OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 

8 Memo, CofT for ASW (McCloy), 26 Aug 42, 
OCT 486.2 HRPE. 

When the United States entered the war, 
the Army foresaw the huge shipping task 
ahead and quickly recognized the desir- 
ability of keeping commercial terminals and 
stevedoring organizations employed, in 
order that the facilities might not be per- 
mitted to deteriorate or the personnel to 
drift into other occupations. 7 This task in- 
volved close co-operation with the Maritime 
Commission and later with the War Ship- 
ping Administration. The agreement which 
the Army and WSA concluded in June 
1942 stated the general nature of their 
co-operation. 8 The two agencies agreed to 
consult each other regarding the purpose 
and terms of occupancy before requisition- 
ing, renting, or purchasing piers or ter- 
minals. The Army agreed that in taking 
over commercial terminal facilities it would 
utilize the existing contracting stevedores 
whenever practicable, under terms con- 
sonant with those approved by W r SA, and 
would take over also the personnel which 
had been operating the terminals, providing 
acceptable arrangements could be made. 

The attraction of other industries offering 
higher wages and better working conditions 
naturally had an adverse effect on the 
supply of longshore labor. At certain ports 
the situation was aggravated by the tem- 
porary reduction of water-front activity 
which followed the curtailment of com- 
mercial shipping and which encouraged 
longshoremen to seek other employment." 
At a large port like New York, where Army 
ships were loaded at numerous terminals 

7 Ltr, SW to Chm Mar Com, 22 Jan 42, OCS 

8 Memo Covering Interdepartmental Relation- 
ship, 13 Jun 42, OCT HB Wylie WSA. 

9 Ltr, Boston Port Authority to CG SOS, 28 Oct 
42, and Reply 1 Nov 42, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks; 
Ltr, OCT to WSA, 17 Dec 42, regarding re- 
sumption of sailings from New Orleans to Panama, 
OCT 563.51-565.3 (Los Angeles 1942). 



worked by different contractors, the port 
commander endeavored to arrange the 
berthing plan so as to distribute the demand 
for longshore gangs and provide employ- 
ment for as many as possible. " There was 
considerable disparity between estimates of 
longshore gangs available and the extent of 
any shortages, but data assembled by the 
War Shipping Administration covering 
civilian longshoremen required for working 
dry-cargo and passenger ships indicate that 
during late 1944 and the first half of 1945 
there were shortages on all coasts on days 
of peak employment. 11 The greatest peak 
day shortage on the Atlantic coast was 93 
gangs in December 1944; on the Pacific 
coast, 182 gangs in May 1945. 

In the fall of 1943, in view of the pros- 
pective increase in Army traffic and as insur- 
ance against vessels being delayed because of 
the scarcity of civilian water-front labor, the 
Chief of Transportation recommended that 
the Transportation Corps troop basis 
for the year 1944 include 10,000 officers 
and men to be trained in port activities 
and reserved for duty at U.S. ports. This 
recommendation resulted in the authoriza- 
tion of 60 port companies in addition to 
those which were to be trained for service 
overseas. 12 The policy was extended to the 
following year, and on 30 April 1945 there 
were 42 port companies assigned to ports 
on the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts. 13 
These troop units were used in loading 
ships only when the supply of civilian long- 
shoremen was inadequate or when special 

10 Port Comdrs Conf, Boston, 30 Aug 43, p. 11, 
OCT HB PE Gen Port Comdrs Conf. 

11 WSA Shipping Summary, Sep 45, p. 142. 
Memo, ACofT for CG ASF, 30 Oct 43 ; Memo, 

Mil Pers Div ASF for CofT, 18 Nov 43. Both in 
OCT HB Tng Div Unit Tng. 

v '" List, T/'O Units Assigned to ZI Ports, as of 30 
Apr 45, OCT HB Dir of Pers. 

types of cargo were involved. For the most 
part they were employed on other work 
about the ports, such as clearing the docks, 
unloading rail cars, and repairing gear. 1 " 1 
Nevertheless, they were included as poten- 
tial stevedore labor in monthly statements 
prepared in the Office of the Chief of Trans- 
portation comparing the prospective traffic 
load with the facilities and labor expected 
to be available to handle it. 15 In April 1945 
there also were 65 Italian service units, em- 
bracing 10,847 officers and men, assigned to 
Army ports of embarkation. Some of them 
were used at the water front, but not in 
loading ships. 

Although selective service took a con- 
siderable number of men from the water 
front, the War Department was reluctant 
to support requests for deferment except in 
the most urgent cases, since this type of labor 
was more readily replaceable than the more 
skilled types which were required by so 
many of the war industries. Furthermore, 
the Army needed experienced longshoremen 
for its port operations overseas. The Army 
ports of embarkation aided in replenishing 
the supply of workers by making their 
facilities available for the training of re- 
cruits. 10 

The Chief of Transportation made a 
close study of the efficiency of contract 
stevedoring, and comparative data on the 
handling of general cargo were compiled 
from the middle of 1943. The tons of 
cargo loaded per gang-hour varied con- 

"Conf, author with Col G. C. Bunting, 20 Apr 
50, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring. 

15 Monthly statements, Estimate of Present and 
Potential Port Capacities, OCT HB Topic Port 
Capacity and Utilization. 

,G Memo, C of Water Div OCT for Pers Div 
OCT, 22 Oct 42, OCT 231.8 Gen; Ltr, USW to 
Sen Kilgore, 3 Nov 43, p. 14, OCT HB Topic 
Kilgore Report; Conf, author with Col Alexander 
Corey, 28 May 48, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring. 



Table 5 — Average Toxs of General Cargo Loaded per Net Gang-Hour at U.S. 
Ports on Vessels Loaded for the Army by Contracting Stevedores: 

July 1943-March 1945 s 























Tons >' 


Tons b 





All Ports 





c 1 5.1 

c 32.2 

c 16.0 

c 32.8 























3 5.9 













































1 1.2 






















tt Gang-hours are net, i.e., time actually worked. General cargo excludes explosives (ammunition and bulk explosives). Only 
cargo actually lifted by ship's tackle is considered. 

b A measurement ton is 40 cu. ft., and the average for Army general cargo, while it varied considerably from time to time and 
port to port, was about two measurement tons to one long ton, e.g., 76 cu. ft. during first half of 1944, 8 5 cu. ft. during last 
half of 1944, and 82 cu. ft. during first quarter of 1945. 

'' Includes small amounts of general cargo loaded at Searsport, Me., and San Jacinto, Texas. 

Source; Based on summaries compiled in Stevedoring and Ship Facilities Branch, Water Division, OCT, from data submitted 
by the respective ports, and published in ASF Monthly Progress Report, Sec. 3. 

siderably as between the several Army ports 
and terminals, and also varied at different 
times at the same terminals. The varia- 
tions were due to many factors, including 
quality of labor, local stevedoring practices, 
the relative density of the cargo handled, the 
proportion of exceptionally large or diffi- 
cult-to-handle items, and the special types 
of stowage required for safe transit or to 
meet theater requirements. Consequently 
any efficiency data given without detailed 
analysis, which is not available from the 

records, must be viewed with reservations. 
This fact is to be considered in reading 
Table 5, which shows the average tons of 
general cargo (excluding explosives) loaded 
per gang-hour on contract at the several 
Army ports. Certain of the basic causes of 
persistent differences in the number of tons 
loaded may be noted. At New Orleans, 
which maintained a high efficiency record, 
the cargoes included relatively few difficult - 
to-handle items, and local stevedoring 
practices permitted the size of the gangs to 



vary according to the types of cargo to be 
worked. On the Pacific coast the limitation 
of a sling load to 2,000 pounds and the 
smaller number of men in a standard gang 
were factors in keeping down the number 
of tons loaded per gang-hour. 17 The all- 
ports averages for the periods covered by 
| Table 5~| show a general improvement in 
cargo loading efficiency. 

Data comparing the results obtained in 
loading general cargo with Army civilian 
(direct-hire) labor, contractor's civilian 
labor, and soldier labor are available only 

17 Conf wit h McK enzie cited | n. 4 ;| Ltr to Sen 
Kilgore cited |n. 16.| Standard gang on east coast 
was 21-22 men, on west coast 16—17 men. 

18 SFPE Quarterly Progress Reports, p. 10 of 
each issue, OCT HB SFPE. 


October— December 1944 
January-March 1945 . . . 
April-June 1945 

Explosives were loaded for the most part 
at piers specially constructed and equipped 
for that purpose. The longshoremen em- 
ployed on such piers were selected from 
men who held U.S. Coast Guard "red 
cards," indicating their qualification for 
engaging in this hazardous work. This type 
of cargo was relatively uniform in density 
and shape, and the palletizing of the smaller 
sizes of artillery and aerial ammunition 
made them easy to handle. Consequently, 
in spite of the special precautions required 
in the interest of safety, the all-ports aver- 
age for long tons of explosives loaded per 
net gang -hour compared favorably with the 
average for long tons of general cargo 
loaded. For example, the average during 
the last half of 1944 was 15.3 long tons 
for explosives and 15.1 long tons for general 

for the San Francisco Port of Embarka- 
tion. 18 These data, which give monthly and 
quarterly averages for the period October 
1944 through June 1945, show that as be- 
tween direct-hire and contractors' labor 
there was no consistent advantage on either 
side. As between civilian labor (17-man 
gangs) and soldier labor (22-man gangs), 
the former produced far better results. This 
is explainable on the ground that the troops 
at best had limited experience, and in some 
cases they were only completing their train- 
ing preparatory to being assigned to over- 
sea stations. The following tabulation shows, 
by quarterly averages, the number of long 
tons and measurement tons of general cargo 
loaded per net gang-hour at the San Fran- 
cisco Port of Embarkation : 

Contractors Soldiers 

















cargo. During the first quarter of 1945 the 
average was 16.8 long tons for explosives 
and 16.0 long tons for general cargo. Since, 
however, a long ton of explosives on the 
average was approximately equal to a 
measurement ton (40 cubic feet) and a 
long ton of general cargo was approximately 
equal to two measurement tons, the number 
of measurement tons of explosives loaded 
per gang-hour was roughly half the number 
of measurement tons of general cargo. 19 

19 Based on summaries compiled by Stevedoring 
and Ship Facilities Br Water Div OCT from data 
submitted by ports of embarkation, OCT HB PE 
Gen Stevedoring. During last half of 1944 average 
measurement of a long ton of explosives was 41 
cubic feet and during the first quarter of 1945 it 
was 39 cubic feet. The term explosives is used to 
cover ammunition and bulk explosives. 

Army Civilians 
11.88 25.18 
11.30 25.09 
10.94 22.84 



Table 6 — Average Cost per Ton of Loading Army Cargo by Contracting 
Stevedores at Principal U.S. Ports: 1944" 


All Ports c . . 


New York 



Hampton Roads 


New Orleans . . , 
Los Angeles 
San Francisco . . . 



General Cargo 
(Measurement Too) 








































1 37 



Explosives ^ 

(Long Ton) 









$ 6.84 




























3 Costs cover only operation at end of ship's tackle, and do not include lashing, blocking, cradling, shoring, and bin con- 
struction, which were accomplished by Army direct-hire employees, or by other contractors. 
b Includes ammunition and bulk explosives. 

c General cargo and/or explosives were loaded at Searsport, Me., and San Jacinto, Tex., during two months; explosives were 
loacjd at San Francisco and Portland on contract during one month. These Costs are taken into account in the all-ports average, 
though not shown for the individual ports. 

Source: Based on statistics prepared by the Stevedoring and Ship Facilities Branch, Water Division, OCT. from data submitted 
by the respective ports. 

The cost per ton of loading Army cargo 
by contracting stevedores varied consider- 
ably at the several ports because of differ- 
ing conditions and differing contract terms. 
Table 6 gives the average cost for the year 
1944, and the low and high average 
monthly costs, at the principal ports. The 
general cargo loading costs are based on 
measurement tons and the explosives load- 
ing costs on long tons and therefore the 
figures are not strictly comparable. Since, 
however, a long ton of explosives was on a 
general average approximately a measure- 
ment ton, the annual average costs are 
roughly comparable on a measurement ton 

basis. A study based on long tons, which 
was prepared in the fall of 1944 covering 
a period of six months, disclosed an aver- 
age loading cost of $2.95 for a long ton of 
general cargo and $6.17 for a long ton of 
explosives. 20 

The monthly average cost of loading 
cargo for the Army by contracting steve- 
dores showed a gradual downward trend 
in the case of general cargo, but in the case 
of explosives this trend did not become 
clearly apparent until early 1945 when 
shipments through the North Atlantic ports, 

ASF MPR, Sec. 3, 31 Oct 44, p. 44. 



where costs were relatively high, were 
greatly reduced because of the passing of 
the crisis in Europe. These trends can be 
seen in the following all-ports average costs, 
starting with November 1943 when the 
figures began to be consistently available: 

General Cargo Explosives 
Month Cost per MT) (Cost per LT ) 


November $1.73 $6.45 

December 1.68 6.32 


January 1.73 5.79 

February 1.68 5.82 

March 1.66 5.82 

April 1.65 6.18 

May 1.56 6.77 

June 1.54 6.21 

July 1.63 6.65 

August 1.54 6.84 

September 1.58 6.60 

October 1.48 6.27 

November 1.50 6.40 

December 1.51 6.00 


January 1.55 6.19 

February 1.49 5.67 

March 1.50 5.83 

April 1.42 5.52 

May 1.43 4.83 

June 1.42 4.52 

The higher loading cost for explosives 
was due principally to the fact that the base 
wages were much greater than those paid 
longshoremen handling general cargo. 
Other contributing factors were the higher 
overtime differential resulting from the 
great urgency of explosives shipments to 
the theaters, the more frequent interruptions 
in the explosives loading operation because 
of the special care required in handling 
and stowing such cargo and the restrictions 
against large accumulations at shipside, and 

the payment of transportation costs to men 
employed at explosives piers located out- 
side the normal port area s. 21 The e ffect of 

these factors can be seen in Table 7, 

The longshore unions announced a non- 
strike policy early in the war, and that policy 
was carried out remarkably well. 22 Although 
there were some labor disturbances at Army 
terminals and a few ships were delayed in 
sailing because of interruptions in loading, 
such disturbances were rare and of short 
duration. In principle the longshoremen 
did not endorse the employment of troops 
at Army terminals, but the Army practice 
gave them little cause for complaint since 
soldier labor was utilized only when civilian 
labor was not available or when special 
security measures were considered neces- 
sary." 3 At certain ports union longshoremen 
were willing not only to work side by side 
with soldiers on the piers and ships but 
also to assist in training port companies, 
since the primary purpose of these troop 
units was to operate ports in the oversea 

For a period delegates of the longshore 
and other maritime unions were admitted 
freely to Army ports of embarkation. The 
number of such visitors became so great, 
however, that in December 1943 the Chief 
of Transportation directed the port com- 
manders to stop this practice. 24 The para- 
mount reason for this ruling was military 

21 Conf with McKenzie cited In. 4.| Longshore- 
men worki ng general cargo at explosives piers re- 
ceived explosives rates of pay. See Ltr, Pres of 
International Longshoremen's Assn to Maj War- 
wick OCT, 2 Dec 42, OCT 080 IL A. 
Conf with Corey, cited jn. 16. | 

23 Memo, CofT for Deputy Chief, Legislative and 
Liaison Div VVDSS, 25 Sep 45, OCT HB Wylie 

24 Memo for all port comdrs, 23 Dec 43, OCT 
680.2 Admission of Union Dele gates to TC Ports; 
Conf with McKenzie, cited n. 4. 



Table 7 — Analysis of Cost of Loading Army Cargo by Contracting 
Stevedores at U.S. Ports: 1944 a 


General Cargo b 
(Measurement Tons) 

Explosives c 
(Long Tons) 






Per Ton 


Per Ton 







Straight time cost 







Overtime differential 
















Transnortation of men " . 




a Costs include only operation at end of ship's tackle, and do not include lashing, blocking, cradling, shoring, and bin con. 
struction, which were done by Army employees, or by other contractors. 

b Costs are computed on 3,606 ships loaded with 26,731,377 Measurement Tons of cargo. 
c Costs are computed on 1,207 ships loaded with 3,580,685 Long Tons of cargo. 

11 Consists mainly of extra labor necessitated by failure of equipment or other circumstances causing temporary stoppage 
of work. 

Includes travel time and carfare allowed to men working on explosives piers which for safety reasons were located outside 
normal port areas. 

Source: Based on summaries compiled in Stevedoring and Ship Facilities Branch, Water Division, OCT, from data submitted 
by ports of embarkation. 

security, but it had been found also that 
the presence of numerous union delegates 
distracted the workmen and interfered with 
the performance of their duties. It was 
recognized, however, that union representa- 
tives could be of aid in maintaining good 
employee relations, and provision was made 
for them to conduct their necessary business 
in the office of the port industrial relations 
officer. Port commanders were given 
authority, moreover, to admit union dele- 
gates to the piers and the ships in ex- 
ceptional cases when this was necessary to 
the performance of their mission. 25 Com- 

Memo, CofT for all port comdrs, 21 Jan 44, 
OCT 680.2 Admission of Union Delegates to TC 

ments from the commanding general of 
the San Francisco Port of Embarkation re- 
garding the difficulties involved in enforcing 
the plan at his port called forth a firm reply 
from the Chief of Transportation, in which 
he stated that the Under Secretary of War 
had sustained his policy in this matter 
after the receipt of complaints from officials 
of certain unions, and he directed that im- 
mediate steps be taken to place the policy 
in effect at San Francisco, as already had 
been done at all other Army ports. 26 

- r ' Memo, CG SFPE for CofT, 15 Apr 44; Memo, 
CofT for CG SFPE, 22 May 44. Both in OCT 
323.3 San Francisco. See also remarks of Maj 
Charles Rothouse at Port and Zone Comdrs Conf, 
morning session, 8 Jul 44, p. 35, OCT HB PE 
Gen Port Comdrs Conf. 



While pier operation and stevedoring 
were the direct responsibility of the port 
commanders, the Chief of Transportation 
maintained a close supervision over these 
activities. Soon after the establishment of 
an independent transportation service in 
March 1942, Mr. Andrew D. Warwick 
(later Colonel), a man of extensive experi- 
ence in commercial stevedoring, was en- 
gaged to head the Army Transport Service 
Branch of the Water Division, later desig- 
nated the Stevedoring and Ship Facili- 
ties Branch. 27 Among his assistants in the 
branch were two merchant marine masters, 
Mr. Daniel J. McKenzie, who had served 
on Army transports, and Mr. Edgar C. 
Seward. This Branch completely rewrote 
the Army technical manual dealing with 
pier operation and stevedoring. The manual 
was issued as a guide for use by Army port 
organizations in the zone of interior and in 
the theaters and later was adopted by the 
U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. 28 It 
developed improvements in stevedoring 
equipment and new techniques for handling, 
lashing, blocking, and stowing, which were 
promulgated to the ports. 29 It devised re- 
ports on cargo operations to be submitted 
monthly by the ports of embarkation as a 
basis for the analyses of stevedoring efficiency 
and costs referred to above. The branch 
promoted and secured the adoption of the 
fixed-price commodity basis for stevedoring 
contracts at Army ports. 30 

In the early part of the war various types 

27 Memo, CofT for TAG, 26 Sep 45, sub: 
Recommendation for Award of Legion of Merit, 
OCT 201 Warwick. 

28 WD TM 55-310, 20 May 44, sub: Stevedor- 

2B See occasional issues of Monthly Vessel Utiliza- 
tion Summary, OCT HB Water Div Vessel Utili- 
zation Rpts ; also Suggestions for Securing of Cargo, 
24 Apr 45, and TC Pamphlet 42, Cargo Checking, 
26 Jun 45, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring. 

of stevedoring contracts were used by the 
several ports. The Water Division, how- 
ever, favored a fixed-price commodity basis 
as providing the greatest incentive to effi- 
ciency and the best means of reducing 
cargo loading costs, and eventually it was 
arranged for this type of contract to be 
used at all ports." Because of differing con- 
ditions at the ports it was not found prac- 
ticable to require that the contracts be 
uniform in all respects, but standard clauses 
were worked out gradually, and in May 
1945 the Chief of Transportation informed 
the ports that thereafter deviations from 
the recommended clauses would be permit- 
ted only when the ports could justify 
the exceptions. When the flow of supplies 
back from the theaters became substantial, 
fixed-price commodity rates were adopted 
also for discharging cargo at U.S. ports. 

Commodity rates were arrived at by 
negotiation, and bids might or might not 
be called for. When it was found that there 
were not sufficient data for fixing com- 
modity rates, a short-term contract on a 
man-hour basis was authorized as a means 
of developing the needed cost information. 
After 90 days' experience under a contract, 
and at 90-day intervals thereafter, either 
party had the right to request a revision of 
rates and submit an analysis of costs to 
support its request. 32 In case of general wage 

30 Memo, C of Water Div OCT for Exec Off 
OCT, 1 Oct 45, sub: Rpt of Accomplishments and 
Handicaps, OCT HB Water Div Rpts. 

31 Conf with Shedd, cited |n. 3 ;| Memo within 
Water Transport Br OQMG (Long for Kells), 2 
Mar 42; Memo, CofT for NOPE, 12 May 42; 
Memo, Warwick for Kells, 14 Aug 42; OCT Misc 
Ltr 137, Supp. 1, 3 May 45. All in OCT HB PE 
Gen Stevedoring. 

32 Conf with McKenzie cited In. 4 J Memo, C of 
Water Div OCT for CG NYPE, 29 Oct 43, sub: 
Reduction in Stevedoring Rates at Bush Terminal 
Piers; 1st Ind NYPE for CofT, 1 Dec 43. Last 
two in OCT 486.2 New York. 



adjustments the 90-day limitation was not 
applicable. The government had access to 
the contractor's records and accounts at 
all times for the purpose of determining 
whether his profits were excessive. In April 
1945 the Chief of Transportation, taking 
into account the volume of cargo then 
moving, informed his contracting officers 
that 5 to 8 percent profit, based on direct 
labor cost after all allowances had been 
made for contractor's expense items, such 
as insurance, social security taxes, overhead, 
supervision, and gear, was considered fair. 33 
When profits were found to be excessive 
after three months' experience, the con- 
tracting officers were expected to take im- 
mediate steps toward readjustment of the 
commodity rates. Since there was consider- 
able variation in the density of many com- 
modities, contracts included both weight 
and measurement rates and contractors had 
the privilege of billing on whichever basis 
would produce the greater tonnage. 34 

In order to prevent excessive insurance 
costs from entering into contracts, the Army 
agreed to indemnify contracting stevedores 
in case of claims exceeding $250,000. This 
arrangement grew out of the contractors' 
desire for adequate protection in case an 
explosion on a ship or a pier should kill 
or injure many workmen. The Army paid 
no claims under the arrangement, since 
disastrous explosions were avoided despite 
the large quantities of ammunition and 
bulk explosives handled. 35 

Toward the close of the war the Navy 
adopted the fixed-price commodity basis 

33 TC Cir 120-9, 24 Apr 45, sub: Stevedoring 

34 Memo, Stevedoring and Ship Facilities Br 
Water Div for Fiscal Div OCT, 19 Jan 43, OCT 
HB PE Gen Stevedoring. 

35 Conf with Shedd, cited |n. 3.| 

and thenceforward closer co-ordination be- 
tween Army and Navy contracting for 
stevedoring work was possible. 36 The War 
Shipping Administration stevedoring con- 
tracts were on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis. 

Materials-handling equipment was sup- 
plied by the Army to contracting steve- 
dores on a rental basis under certain cir- 
cumstances. This was generally true of 
heavy lift equipment (over 5-ton capacity) 
which contractors ordinarily did not possess. 
It was true also of certain smaller types of 
gear, such as fork lift trucks and crawler 
cranes, which were extensively used but 
which contractors could not readily pro- 
cure because of priorities. All such gear was 
scarce and the Army's requirements for 
domestic and oversea ports were great. In 
order to assure maximum utilization, the 
Chief of Transportation directed that a pool 
of materials-handling equipment be estab- 
lished at each port of embarkation and that 
a qualified officer be placed in charge, to 
be responsible for its proper distribution, 
economical use, and correct maintenance. 37 
At ports where the facilities were widely 
scattered, subpools were established in like 

Efficient Utilization of Vessels 

The Chief of Transportation, confronted 
from the beginning with a shortage of 
bottoms and the prospect that this condi- 
tion would continue throughout the war, 
was under pressure at all times to make 
the best possible use of the shipping placed 

3fi In May 1946 the Army and the Navy adopted 
a uniform type of contract based on the Army 
form, and a joint form of stevedoring performance 
record. See Army-Navy Conf, 27-28 May 46, with 
approved contract form, OCT HB PE Gen Steve- 

37 TC Cir 120-4, 16 Feb 44. 



at his disposal. His effort to do so was 
beset with difficulties arising from the 
abnormalities of wartime and the fact that 
some of the circumstances which en- 
couraged waste were not under his control. 
The problem of obtaining optimal utiliza- 
tion was twofold, involving the fullest 
possible loading of the vessels and the fastest 
possible completion of round voyages be- 
tween home and oversea ports. 

This problem was considerably simpler 
with troopships than with cargo vessels. Be- 
cause of the unrelenting demand for more 
troop lift, the capacities of the troopships 
were increased to what was considered 
maximum by the installation of additional 
bunks, with due regard for safety and sani- 
tation. Troopship schedules were prepared 
initially in accordance with basic strategic 
decisions, and insofar as possible subsequent 
changes in troop movement plans were 
ascertained in advance from the Operations 
Division of the General Staff so that sail- 
ing schedules could be adjusted accord- 
ingly. 38 When the troop requirements of a 
particular theater were light, or when there 
were sudden changes in troop movement 
plans, ships might sail with empty spaces. 
When the troop requirements of a theater 
were heavy, the vessels sailing to that theater 
were loaded to practical capacity. This 
often was well beyond the berthing capacity 
and necessitated troops sleeping in the corri- 
dors, or on the decks if the weather per- 
mitted, or in berths which were used by 
other soldiers during other parts of the day 
or night. 39 

Troopship turnaround figures were not 
influenced by some of the circumstances 

88 See Memo, CofT for CG ASF, 10 Apr 43, 
OCT HB Wylie Shipping Requirements and Alloca- 
tions 1943. 

39 Ltr, Col D. E. Farr to author, 14 Feb 50, Item 
7, OCT HB Mvmts Div Gen. 

which affected cargo vessels, but they were 
subject to many varying conditions such 
as the speed and frequency of convoys, the 
speed and routing of vessels which sailed 
independently, delays pending the readiness 
of oversea ports to effect discharge, and 
delays incident to conversion and repair 
work performed in home ports. Conversion 
and repair work was an important factor, 
particularly on the Pacific coast where the 
repair facilities were limited and the Navy's 
requirements were heavy. A study of 175 
troopships which sailed from the Pacific 
coast during six months in late 1944 and 
early 1945 showed that 99 of them under- 
went repairs or alterations while in home 
ports and that the average time consumed 
by such work was 21.47 days. 40 

The data regarding the length of troop- 
ship round voyages (turnaround cycles) 
during the war are meager and hence of 
limited value. They are averages computed 
on a theater or area basis, although the 
distance from the United States to the 
various ports in certain theaters differed 
greatly. The average turnaround cycles 
shown below include the days spent in U.S. 
and oversea ports and the days spent on 
outward and homeward voyages; they 
cover a representative number of Army- 
controlled troopship voyages to the respec- 
tive areas ending during the specified 
periods, but probably not all voyages in any 
case: 41 

40 Memo, C of Mvmts Div OCT for Gen Wylie, 
16 Mar 45, sub: Utilization of Troopships, OCT 
HB Water Div Ship Repair and Conv. 

"ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Jul 43, p. 84; Oct 43, p. 
18; Jul 44, p. 14. Low UK figure for 1943 prob- 
ably due to inclusion of fast British ships; high 
UK figure for 1944 due to long average stay in 
U.S. ports, probably because of conversion or repair 



Destination Area 

U.S. East Coast to — 

United Kingdom 

North Africa (Mediterranean) 

North Africa (Atlantic) 

U.S. West Coast to— 


South Pacific 

Southwest Pacific 

After the end of the fighting in Europe 
and the discontinuance of convoys in the 
Atlantic, the turnaround cycles for troop- 
ships plying between U.S. Atlantic coast 
ports and Europe naturally were shorter. 
During the period June— December 1945, 
the round voyages to Northwest Europe 
averaged 29.2 days, and those to the 
Western Mediterranean averaged 35.6 
days. 42 

The problem of utilizing the greatest 
possible percentage of dry cargo ship capa- 
city was a complex one. The criterion was 
to load such vessels "full and down," that 
is, to fill the space and at the same time lift 
as much weight as the respective ships were 
designed to carry. This criterion was 
difficult to achieve even in peacetime com- 
mercial loading, and under wartime condi- 
tions the Transportation Corps could only 
endeavor to approach it as nearly as 
practicable. When critics alluded to the 
unused cargo space (bale cubic) or dead- 
weight capacity on Army-loaded vessels, the 
Chief of Transportation pointed out that 

42 Based on data published in monthly issues ASF 
MPR, Sec. 3. 

]an-Oct 1943 Jan-Jun 1944 

No, of Avg. No. of Avg. 

Ships Days Ships Days 

13 33.7 24 55.6 
16 52.3 25 55.7 
12 39.0 18 41.1 

14 30.2 11 37.4 
26 77.0 16 70.3 
20 68.2 10 61.9 

there were circumstances which made that 
result unavoidable. 43 

Although there were a number of condi- 
tions which militated against the complete 
utilization of cargo ship capacity, the basic 
difficulty was the lack of balance in Army 
materiel — the preponderance of bulky and 
light items over dense and heavy items — 
which made it impossible to use the entire 
deadweight capacity even if the cargo space 
were entirely filled. In order to load a 
Liberty ship full and down the cargo should 
have an over-all ratio of about one long 
ton to 1.25 measurement tons; in other 
words, it should average about 50 cubic 
feet to the long ton. 44 An analysis of Army 
cargoes shipped to the United Kingdom 
during the 16-month period, January 1942 
through April 1943, disclosed the following 
facts regarding the principal types of 
materiel: 45 

43 Memo, CofT for CG SOS, 10 Jun 42, sub: 
Contl of Ship Opns, and Incl, OCT HB Wylie 
WSA Controversy; Memo, CofT for Mr. Julius 
Amberg, Sp Asst to SW, 13 Apr 43, sub: Efficient 
Use of Shipping, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedoring. 

44 WD TM 55-310, Stevedoring, 20 May 44, p. 

45 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, May 1943, p. 89. 



Type of 

Cubic Feet 

Ratio of 


per Long Ton 

MT to LT 

Air Corps 










Ordnance (less ammunition) 









Post Exchange 





Gas and Oil (packaged) 



Quartermaster Food 





The high ratio of measurement to weight 
in so many of the principal items of Army 
cargo was partially offset in the actual load- 
ing of ships by a variety of methods which 
will be outlined later. The results naturally 
differed from time to time and from port to 
port. The average ratios attained during 
the three full war years at ports on the 
Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts are shown 
below: 16 





All Coasts . 

. 1.8 



Atlantic .... 












In addition to the lack of balance be- 
tween heavy and light cargo, Army materiel 
included many items which created an ab- 
normal amount of lost space, or broken 
stowage. The lost space around and above 
unboxed trucks, tanks, and artillery, for 
example, was much greater than in the case 
of boxed, bagged, or packaged commodities. 
A well-balanced general cargo stows to 
within 10—15 percent of the total bale cubic 

4C Data prepared for transportation section of 
statistical history of the Army, based on monthly 
rpts from PE's to OCT, Outbound and Inbound 
Cargo, SPTOW 22. 

capacity (below deck). On the other hand, 
a study of vessels loaded by the Army dur- 
ing the first nine months of 1943 showed 
19.32 percent lost space on 201 vessels 
loaded at Boston, 15.63 percent lost space 
on 753 vessels loaded at New York, 16.22 
percent lost space on 190 vessels loaded at 
Hampton Roads, and 16.27 percent lost 
space on 302 vessels loaded at Seattle. 47 

Numerous measures were taken to offset 
the handicaps imposed by the character of 
Army materiel and so improve the utiliza- 
tion of cargo ship capacity. Exchange ar- 
rangements were worked out with the War 
Shipping Administration and the British 
Ministry of War Transport, so that when 
practicable vessels sailing under the control 
of those organizations loaded some of the 
bulky Army cargo and Army ships loaded 
some of the heavier lend-lease items. 4 * Army 

17 Conf, author with D. J. McKenzie, 1 May 50, 
and attached statistics, OCT HB PE Gen Stevedor- 
ing; WD TM 55-310, 20 May 44, p. 100. Lost 
space, or broken stowage, is space which cannot be 
used because of the character of the cargo which 
is being shipped and the structure of the ship's 
cargo spaces. 

"Discussed in ph. VI.| See also Ltr, CofT to 
Australian Legation, 14 Apr 42, and Memo, CofT 
for International Div SOS, 6 Mar 43, OCT HB 
Gross Day File. 

TIGHT STOWAGE OF PACKAGED FREIGHT in and around vehicles was 
ployed to reduce loss of cargo space in shipping assembled trucks. 



and lend-lease packaged or bagged com- 
modities were accumulated at the ports to 
be stowed in and around trucks, tanks, and 
artillery when that equipment was loaded 
below deck. 49 Deck spaces were utilized to 
the fullest and deep tanks were filled with 
cargo whenever practicable. As experience 
accumulated, better methods of stowing the 
more difficult items were developed by 
which space was economized without 
sacrificing safety. The more compact pack- 
ing of vehicles and the reduction in the 
percentage of assembled vehicles shipped 
to the theaters effected a considerable 
saving of space. 50 The conversion of ships 
for the special purpose of carrying tanks and 
assembled aircraft and the shipment of air- 
craft and vehicles on false decks constructed 
on tankers relieved the cargo fleet of the 
necessity of carrying so many of these space- 
consuming machines. Careful cargo plan- 
ning, practiced at all ports, involved 
not only getting the best possible balance 
from materiel which was on the pier 
when loading began but also anticipating 
this factor when calling cargo to the 

The extent to which the full weight and 
cubic capacities of cargo ships were utilized 
was adversely affected by a number of cir- 
cumstances for which there was no remedy. 
Urgent theater requirements sometimes 
dictated the items which were to move in 
certain ships or certain convoys, thus limit- 
ing the opportunity for the inclusion of items 

40 Memo, ACofT for Gen Deane, 6 Jan 43, OCT 
HB Wylie Staybacks; Min of Port Loading Com 
SFPE, 8 Jan 45, par. 6(b), OCT HB PE Gen 
Overseas Supply. 

B0 Study, Statistics and Progress Br, Contl Div, 
OCT, Army Cargo Loading, Aug 44, p. 20, OCT 
HB PE Gen Stevedoring: Memo, CofT for CG 
ASF, 4 Dec 43, sub: Shipment of Boxed Vehicles, 
OCT HB Wylie Shipping and Cargo for UK 

of lower priority to give balance to the 
cargoes. 51 When ships arrived late on berth 
and had to be loaded hastily to avoid miss- 
ing a convoy, they could not be stowed as 
carefully as otherwise would have been the 
case. Special types of stowage, devised to 
meet peculiar theater requirements pertain- 
ing to the discharge or ultimate destination 
of the materiel, were found to produce less 
efficient stowage in most cases. 52 Occasion- 
ally high priority cargo for which space 
had been reserved failed to arrive at the 
port before sailing time, with the result that 
some or all of the space could not be used. 53 
In view of the fact that most War Shipping 
Administration freighters allocated to the 
Army for outward voyages returned from 
overseas with only small quantities of cargo, 
and since the obtaining of ballast to insure 
their stability was difficult at certain over- 
sea ports, or involved long delays, WSA 
had ballast placed in some vessels at their 
home ports, thus reducing space available 
to the Army. 54 

The over-all effect of the many factors 
which influenced the loading of cargo ships 

51 Study of early cargo convoys to North Africa 
showed that only 66.1 percent of below-deck cargo 
space of UGS— 1 was used, because of the large 
percentage of vehicles and other organizational 
equipment and because some vessels were combat 
loaded; on L T GS-2 the percentage was 78.8, on 
UGS-3 it was 78.1, and on UGS-4 it was 77.7. 
ASF MPR, Sec. 3, May 43, pp. 82, 83. 

52 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Aug 44, p. 55. Study 
covered 10 "prestowed" and 49 "commodity 
loaded" vessels dispatched from NYPE to ETO. 
Special types of stowage will be discussed in another 
volume of TC history. 

53 Memo, Dir NTS USN for CofT, 28 Sep 42, 
sub: Voyage Rpt of USS West Point; Memo, CofT 
for CG SOS, pars. 2, 3, 5, 3 Jan 43, sub: Loading 
of UGF-3. Both in OCT HB Meyer Staybacks. 

54 Memo, C of Water Div OCT for ACofT 
(Wylie), 27 May 43; Rad WSA to WSA Repre- 
sentative Algiers, 28 May 43 (WD CM-OUT 
12478, 29 May 43). Both in OCT 563.51-565.1 
Africa 1943. 



Chart 5 — Utilization of Deadweight and Bale Cubic Capacities of Ships Loaded 
by the Army at U.S. Ports: December 1941— August 1945* 





* \ 
1 " 


• ' Vr 

" /■ 

r -» 





V ^ 



I I 1 1 1 1 i 1 1 1 i 

'III t — J — 1 1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ' ' > 1 

' 11 11 1 1 





1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 

*Only dry-cargo ships on which the Army loaded the entire cargo are included. 
Source: Final Rpt of CofT, ASF, VCMC II, 30 Nov. 45, p. 54. 

at U.S. ports by the Transportation Corps 
is reflected in Chart 5, which shows the 
percentage of the deadweight and bale 
cubic capacities actually utilized on vessels 
sailing each month throughout the war. 
After the poor results of the first six or 
seven months — results attributable chiefly 
to the great number of unboxed vehicles 
shipped, the lack of bottom (especially 
heavy and dense) cargo, and the difficulty 
of cargo planning due to the uncertain 
availability of many types of Army materiel 
— the deadweight curve attained a general 
level of about 74 percent. 55 The rather 
sharp fluctuations in the deadweight curve 

^ For analysis of loading Jan— May 42, vessel 
by vessel, with port averages, see Ships Loaded 
by Army Transport Service, OCT HB PE Gen 

were due principally to developments in the 
strategic situation, which resulted in 
changes in the types of cargo required over- 
seas. For example, toward the end of 1944 
when shipments of relatively heavy am- 
munition to Europe became extraordinarily 
large the deadweight curve turned upward; 
during the first two months of 1945, when 
the movement of ammunition was drastic- 
ally cut, it turned downward; during suc- 
ceeding months, with German resistance 
crumbling, shipments of vehicles and other 
bulky equipment were curtailed and a 
larger percentage of the cargoes was made 
up of relatively heavy subsistence stores, and 
the deadweight curve again turned up- 
ward." 1 The bale cubic curve, after a tem- 

,,n Gross final rpt, p. 50. 

deck areas were utilized in order to achieve the maximum cargo lift. 



porary rise to 94 percent at the end of 1942, 
leveled off to an average of about 90 per- 
cent, where it remained until the last half 
of 1944; it then dropped somewhat, chiefly 
because of special types of loading employed 
in connection with the campaign in Europe, 
which involved an unusual amount of lost 
space. It is to be noted, however, that the 
bale cubic curve represents a comparison of 
hold cubic capacity with the cubic measure- 
ment of cargo carried in the hold and on 
deck. Since deck cargo averaged about 10 
percent of hold cubic capacity, hold cargo 
represented about 80 percent." 

There was considerable variation in the 
percentage of utilization of deadweight and 
bale cubic capacities at the several ports, 
because of variations in the factors affect- 
ing loading. For the war period as a whole 
the Atlantic coast ports and Pacific coast 
ports had the same percentage of dead- 
weight capacity utilization (74 percent) , but 
the Pacific coast ports had an average of 95 
percent of bale cubic utilization whereas 
the east coast ports had only 85 percent. 58 
The west coast loadings were not subject 
to pressure because of convoy sailing dates, 
as was the case on the east coast. The west 
coast ports were able to put more cargo on 
deck because of the generally better weather 
conditions in the South Pacific, and the fact 
that many of the vessels moving from 
Seattle and Prince Rupert to Alaska used 
the inside passage. The cast coast ports 
included deep tank spaces in computing 
the bale cubic capacity of the ships which 
they loaded, but the west coast ports did 
not, since deep tanks were required more 

5l See Study, Army Cargo Loading, cited! n. 50, 
pp. 9, 10. *~* 1 1 

08 Data prepared for transportation section of 
the statistical history of the Army, based on monthly 
rpts from PE's to OCT, Cargo Analysis Rpt. 

frequently for fresh water on the long 
voyages in the Pacific. The east coast ports 
handled a greater number of specially 
stowed ships, involving unusual amounts of 
lost space. 

Studies of the turnaround of cargo ships 
in Army service during various periods 
were made in the Office of the Chief of 
Transportation, in order to determine 
whether and how the turnaround cycles 
could be shortened. The cycles for the 
several routes differed considerably from 
time to time, depending on convoy arrange- 
ments, the extent of diversions, and port 
conditions. The subjoined tabulation gives 
the results of one of the studies insofar as it 
related to the principal routes. Although 
the data cannot be considered complete nor 
typical of the war period, they illustrate 
the importance of days spent in port in 
relation to the turnaround cycle as a whole. 
The exceptionally long periods spent in the 
Mediterranean, South Pacific, and South- 
west Pacific Areas were due to port con- 
gestion and other circumstances which will 
be discussed in some detail in the next 
section of this chapter. The greater number 
of days spent in U.S. ports by ships sailing 
to the United Kingdom may be attributed 
to the fact that the period covered by this 
study was just prior to the invasion of Nor- 
mandy when the activity in U.S. Atlantic 
ports was increasingly heavy. The follow- 
ing data include dry-cargo vessels which 
sailed in Army service and completed round 
voyages at U.S. ports during the period 
January-June 1 944 : 59 

59 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Aug 44, p. 11. Most vessels 
were in Army service on the outward voyage only. 
Days in U.S. ports include days under WSA con- 
trol before vessels were delivered to Army for load- 



No. of 

Destination Area Ships 

U.S. East Coast to- 
United Kingdom 440 

Mediterranean 48 

U.S. West Coast to- 

Hawaii 67 

South Pacific 35 

Southwest Pacific 35 

The turnaround data shown below, 
which were compiled by the War Shipping 
Administration and include cargo vessels 
in both Army and non-Army services, illus- 
trate several noteworthy points. Comparison 
of the length of round voyages to the Per- 
sian Gulf and the Red Sea via South Africa 
and via the Mediterranean discloses the 
great saving of time achieved for vessels 
proceeding to the Middle East when the 
Mediterranean route was opened to Allied 
traffic in the summer of 1943. Comparison 
of the days spent in Persian Gulf ports 
during the earlier part of the period (i.e., 
when vessels were routed via South Africa ) 
and the latter part (i.e., when vessels pro- 
ceeded via the Mediterranean) shows the 
great improvement in the dispatch of ships 

Total Days Days Days in Days 
Days in U.S. Out- Oversea In- 
Avg. Ports bound Ports bound 


























effected by the U.S. Army after it took over 
the operation of Persian Gulf ports in 1943. 
In considering the fact that the vessels in 
most instances spent more days in "U. S. 
waters" than in oversea ports, it is to be 
borne in mind that ships often called at 
more than one U.S. port, that repairs were 
performed almost entirely at home ports, 
and that a large proportion of the cargo 
ships which loaded at North Atlantic ports 
had to wait for convoy sailings. The follow- 
ing tabulation covers a representative num- 
ber of War Shipping Administration vessels, 
sailing under Army, Navy, and WSA aus- 
pices, which completed round voyages at 
U. S. east coast ports during the period 
January 1943-March 1944: GO 

00 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, May 44, p. 14. 



Days in 


in U.S. 












































No. of Total 

Destination Area Ships Days 


United Kingdom 1 ,4 1 2 69 .4 

Western Mediterranean 939 90.5 

Persian Gulf via South Africa 119 241.7 

Persian Gulf via Mediterranean 142 157.2 

Red Sea via South Africa 84 207.8 

Red Sea via Mediterranean 90 125.7 

South and East Africa 45 149.6 

India 165 180.3 

North Russia 54 150.1 



Cargo vessels which the War Shipping 
Administration allocated to the Army for 
the outward voyage were under WSA con- 
trol while they were being discharged and 
serviced at U.S. ports, prior to delivery to 
the Army for loading. The Chief of Trans- 
portation made an intensive study of the 
operation of such vessels after they had 
been taken over by his ports of embarka- 
tion, and worked with the port commanders 
in an effort to reduce the number of "Army 
days." The data for such studies were sub- 
mitted by the ports daily, and the analyses 
were prepared by the Water Division and 
the Control Division. 61 

In the spring of 1944, when every effort 
was being made to get quick dispatch for 
the vessels destined to Europe because of 
the impending invasion of Normandy, 
General Wylie, the Assistant Chief of Trans- 
portation for Operations, reported to Gen- 
eral Gross that the Army record at the ports 
serving the European theater was "not 
good," but was improving. He found that 
the number of days on berth for vessels 
loaded by the Army compared favorably 
with that for vessels loaded by agents of 
the War Shipping Administration. Although 
the average Army days had been reduced 
from 13,5 in January 1944 to 10.5 for 
February, and again to 9.5 for March, he 
doubted that the average over a long 
period would be better than 10 or 11 days, 
because of the number of specially stowed 
vessels required by the theater and the 
inadequacy of stevedore labor for the heavy 
job to be done. Labor was a critical item, 
Wylie indicated, and he stated that a special 
effort was being made to improve that 
situation. 62 General Franklin, Assistant 

Chief of Transportation for Water, re- 
ported that there were not sufficient long- 
shoremen at New York for continuous day 
and night operations, that the longshore- 
men were contending that the amount of 
overtime worked already had reduced their 
efficiency, and that the adoption of an 
over-all manpower utilization policy by all 
ship operators was urgently needed to assure 
maximum results from the labor available. 68 
An analysis of "Army days" in home 
ports, for more than 4,000 cargo vessels 
which sailed during 1944, as given in Table 

affords an opportunity for comparison of 
the records of the several Army ports. The 
figures* for the ports of embarkation at 
Boston, New York, and Hampton Roads, 
which include sailings from the cargo ports 
at Searsport, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, 
respectively, show that an average of more 
than thirty-two hours per ship was lost 
awaiting convoy departures; the averages 
were low for other ports because they dis- 
patched few ships in convoy. At San Fran- 
cisco and Seattle (the data for the latter 
port embracing also the subports of Port- 
land and Prince Rupert), the amount of 
time lost on account of repairs was large 
because of the numerous merchant and 
naval vessels requiring repairs after long voy- 
ages in the Pacific and the inadequacy of re- 
pair facilities and labor at those ports." Time 
lost on account of repairs was exceptionally 
high at Seattle, because most of the vessels in 
the Alaska service were old and subjected 


OCT Cir 59, 1 May 43, sub: Daily Teletype 

62 Memo, Wylie for Gross, 5 May 44, OCT HB 
Wylie Staybacks. 

63 Memo, Franklin for Gross, 28 April 44, OCT 
HB Wylie Port Capacity Studies. 

64 SFPE Quarterly Progress Reports, Jan-Mar 
45, p. 15, and Apr-Jun 45, p. 14, OCT HB SFPE, 
show that on an average about 2 of 3 ships in port 
under Army control were undergoing repair. 



Table 8 — Time Spent at U.S. Loading Ports by Dry Cargo Vessels Loaded at 
Army Ports of Embarkation and Sailed During the Period 
February— December 1944 a 


nampto n 


Lh arles- 




Time in Port 



















Average Days in Port, Total b . ., . 



















Days Available for Loading. . 
















































































Shifting Berth 



















Subports and cargo ports are combined with the ports of embarkation to which they were subordinate. 
b Difference between total days and Array days represents time vessels allocated to Army by War Shipping Administration 
spent in port under WSA control before being delivered to Army. 

Source: ASF Monthly Progress Report, February 1945, Sec. 3, Transportation, p. 56. (Based on data compiled by the Vessel 
Operations Analysis Branch, Water Division, OCT.) 

to unusually hard usage in northern waters. 63 
The Seattle column also indicates ex- 
ceptional loss of time for other reasons. The 
loss awaiting labor was due to the scarcity 
of longshoremen and the preference given 
to the loading of vessels under Soviet con- 
trol. 68 The loss awaiting cargo resulted from 
the limited facilities of most of the Seattle 
ship terminals, which prevented the assem- 
bling of sufficient cargo in advance of 
the vessels going on berth, and the con- 
gestion of the water front, which delayed 

B3 Conf, author with Col Thomas J. Weed, 21 
Jun 48, OCT HB Water Div Vessel Days in Port. 
Col Weed was Supt ATS at Seattle in 1942. Re- 
mainder of this paragraph is based on Col Weed's 

6fi See also Ltr, Brig Gen Wylie to Brig Gen John 
F. York, Jr., The President's Soviet Protocol Com, 
5 Jul 44, AG 563.5 West Coast. 

truck deliveries from storage. The loss of 
loading time while the vessels were dis- 
charging also was due to the inadequate 
work space on the piers and bulkheads, 
which made it difficult to carry on dis- 
charging and loading operations at the 
same time. 

Control of Ship Utilization in the Theaters 

While the enforcement of economy in the 
utilization of shipping at home ports 
suffered many handicaps, it was an even 
more difficult problem with respect to the 
oversea theaters. This was due in part to 
adverse conditions which prevailed in the 
theaters and in part to the fact that each 
oversea commander was concerned pri- 
marily with his own supply and transport 



requirements, rather than with the over-all 
shipping situation, and the Army Chief of 
Transportation had no direct control of 
vessels after they arrived at oversea ports. 
Ships held in the theaters fell into three 
broad categories : ( 1 ) those detained be- 
yond the normal period because of inability 
to discharge them promptly or uncertainty 
as to when or where they should be dis- 
charged, ( 2 ) those retained temporarily for 
service within the theaters, and (3) those 
assigned more or less permanently to the 
theater commanders. The Chief of Trans- 
portation used the means at his disposal to 
reduce waste in theater shipping operations, 
but eventually action by the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff was necessary. 

The problem of ship detention in over- 
sea ports because of discharge difficulties 
was encountered first in the Southwest and 
South Pacific during the 1942 effort to 
strengthen the Allied position in those areas 
and to begin an offensive against the 
Japanese. Even at the well-developed ports 
of Melbourne and Sydney the discharge of 
U.S. Army cargo was slow, because of the 
shortage of labor and equipment and the 
restrictive influence of the Australian labor 
unions. 67 The situation was made more 
difficult at the lesser Australian ports, such 
as Brisbane and Townsville, by their 
limited docking facilities. The small port of 
Noumea in New Caledonia was wholly in- 
adequate to handle the heavy traffic which 
the Army and the Navy concentrated there 
in connection with the defense of the New 
Hebrides and the offensive in the Solomons, 

l;7 Mem 0j C of Trans Sv USAFIA for G-4 
USAFIA, 24 Apr 42, quoted as reference 11 (a) 
in history of TC in Australia, Vol. I, 1942, OCT 
HB SWPA; Memo, Lt Col Alfred W. Parry and Lt 
Col Rudolph G. Lehnau for Gen Robinson, Contl 
Div ASF, 12 May 43, sub: Rpt on Insp Trip, OCT 
HB Gross Pacific Theater. 

and a heavy backlog of undischarged vessels 
soon developed. A similar experience was 
encountered at Espiritu Santo when the 
use of that port was begun as a means of 
relieving Noumea. The problem was ac- 
centuated at Noumea and Espiritu Santo 
by lack of co-ordination between the Army 
and the Navy until joint port operation was 
established. 08 The Army Chief of Trans- 
portation provided equipment and troop 
labor to the extent of his resources, and the 
Navy did likewise, but the supply fell far 
short of meeting the requirements in the 
Pacific. Those requirements were never 
static but expanded constantly as the Allied 
campaign moved northward and westward 
and one primitive port after another was 
set up as a base for further offensive action. 

The retention of vessels by oversea com- 
manders for intratheater use affected the 
movement of troops and supplies from the 
zone of interior to the theaters, since there 
was an over-all shortage of shipping. If 
made without approval of the War De- 
partment such retentions upset the move- 
ment plans of the General Staff, which 
were based on the Chief of Transportation's 
estimate of available vessels. Accordingly, it 
was agreed between the War Department 
and the War Shipping Administration that 
arrangements between theater commanders 
and the oversea representatives of WSA re- 
garding retentions would not be permitted 
except in emergencies and that theater re- 
quests for vessels would be directed to the 
Chief of Transportation, who would make 

68 Memo, CG SvC Noumea for CG SOS SPA, 
19 Dec 42, sub: Congestion of Shipping at 
Noumea, OCT HB SPA New Caledonia; Rad, CG 
SOS WD for CG SOS SPA, 24 Jan 43, OCT HB 
Meyer Staybacks; Memo, CG SOS WD for VCNO 
USN, 12 Mar 43, sub: Congestion at Noumea and 
Espiritu Santo, OCT HB Meyer Staybacks; Memo, 
Gross for Styer, 11 Mar 43, OCT HB Gross Pacific 



the necessary arrangements with WSA 
headquarters. 69 

The vessel requirements for intratheater 
shipments were especially heavy in the 
Southwest Pacific where each advance 
against the enemy was dependent on the 
availability of bottoms. 70 The early needs 
of this theater were met principally with 
British, Dutch, and Norwegian vessels, 
although a limited number of American 
ships were used. 71 A call by General Mac- 
Arthur for additional vessels in September 

1942 found all available shipping com- 
mitted to the support of the impending 
invasion of North Africa. 72 During the 
following spring the progress of the cam- 
paign in the Mediterranean and the build- 
up of U.S. forces in the United Kingdom, 
which were the major undertakings of that 
period, placed a heavy strain on U.S. ship- 
ping resources and severely limited the 
number of vessels that could be assigned to 
the Southwest Pacific. 73 When in August 

1943 General MacArthur indicated that a 
large additional permanent assignment of 
shipping was absolutely necessary to the 
launching of a sustained drive against the 

69 Rad, CG SOS to CG USAFIA, 27 Jul 42, 
OCT HB Meyer Staybacks; Rad, CG SOS to 
ETOUSA, 30 Sep 42, OCT HB Meyer Staybacks; 
Ltr, CG ASF to CofS AFHQ North Africa, 17 
Apr 43, OCT HB Gross Day File. 

70 See Rad, MacArthur to Somervell, 12 Jun 42, 
CM— IN 7259. In addition to transoceanic vessels, 
SWPA needed great numbers of smaller craft for 
coastwise and interisland operation. 

71 Ltr, WSA to Trans Sv SOS, 3 Jul 42, OCT 
HB Wylie Australia Mar 42-Jul 44. This file in- 
cludes correspondence indicating numerous prob- 
lems of control in connection with foreign flag 
vessels used in SWPA. 

72 Ltr, MacArthur to Somervell, 9 Sep 42 ; Hand- 
written Memo, Wylie for Gross, 26 Sep 42. Both 
in OCT HB Wylie Australia, Mar 42-Jul 44. 

78 Memo, Somervell for Douglas (WSA), 10 Mar 
43, sub: Shipping Requirements for U.S. Army 
Forces, OCT 563.5 Misc. 

Japanese, the problem was placed before 
the Combined Chiefs of Staff, then in ses- 
sion at Quebec, and the maximum assign- 
ment was worked out. 7 * It was made clear 
to General MacArthur, however, that abil- 
ity to permanently assign additional vessels 
to him and still maintain an adequate 
schedule of transpacific sailings depended 
on his early release of vessels which he had 
temporarily retained under emergency ar- 
rangements with the representative of the 
War Shipping Administration in Australia. 75 
While theater retentions could be regu- 
lated in Washington, theoretically at least, 
the problem of slow oversea discharge was 
less amenable to control. Early in 1943 the 
San Francisco Port of Embarkation ex- 
pressed the view that too many ports still 
were operating at peacetime tempo and 
proposed measures to correct the situation. 
The proposed measures were not adopted, 
no doubt because of the Chief of Trans- 
portation's lack of authority in the oversea 
commands, but the discussion of them led 
to the institution of semimonthly radio re- 
ports, to be submitted by all oversea theaters 
and bases, giving data regarding the num- 
ber of ships in each port and the progress 
made in their discharge. 76 While the details 
of this plan were being worked out, the de- 
sirability of such reports was emphasized 
by General Somervell, who had visited the 
North African ports after the Casablanca 

74 Rad, MacArthur to CG ASF, 14 Aug 43 
(CM-IN 10721, 15 Aug 43) ; Rad from Quebec, 
Somervell to MacArthur, 18 Aug 43 (WD 
CM-IN 13773, 19 Aug 43). 

75 Rad, MacArthur to WD, 19 Aug 43, CM-IN 
14061; Rad from Quebec, Somervell to Mac- 
Arthur, 23 Aug 43 (WD CM-IN 17632, 24 Aug 
43) ; Rad, Quebec to MacArthur, 24 Aug 43, WD 
CM-IN 18280. 

76 Telg, SFPE to CofT, 8 Jan 43 (CM-IN 3679, 
9 Jan 43); Memo, Brig Gen Wylie for Lt Col 
Meyer, 17 Jan 43, OCT HB Wylie Urgent Mat- 
ters 1943. 



Conference. 77 From the data contained in 
these radiograms the Control Division in 
the Office of the Chief of Transportation 
prepared semimonthly summaries which 
compared the records of the several oversea 
commands and the individual oversea 
ports. 78 

Copies of the summaries of port per- 
formance were sent to the oversea com- 
manders, and the rivalry which they created 
proved stimulating and soon was evidenced 
in improved dispatch of vessels in certain 
areas. 79 In the beginning they were con- 
fined to statistics, but later comments on 
the performances of the several ports and 
suggestions for the improvement of cargo 
handling were included. During a visit to 
the Pacific in the fall of 1943, General Gross 
observed that many, port commanders were 
not receiving the summaries from their 
theater headquarters, and he instructed that 
thereafter copies be sent directly from 
Washington to the oversea ports. 80 

A study of the number of ships held in 
oversea ports more than ten days, during 
the period February 1943— July 1944, is 
presented graphically in Chart 6j The study, 
which excluded ships authorized for reten- 
tion by or on permanent assignment to the 
theaters, showed that improvement took 
place in most areas during 1943, but that 
the number of 10-day vessels increased 
greatly in the North African theater in con- 

"Memo for Gen Gross, 19 Feb 43, OCT HB 
Wylie Urgent Matters 1943; Memo, G of Contl 
Div OCT for Col Stone, 10 Apr 43, OCT 565.2 

|S Preparation of summaries later was transferred 
to Water Div, OCT. Beginning Jan 45 they were 
issued monthly instead of semimonthly. Incomplete 
set is in OCT HB Water Div Vessel Utilization 

79 Memo, Gen Somervell for Admiral King, 26 
May 43, ASF Hq Navy 1942-44. 

S0 Ltr, Gross to Wylie, par. 10, 26 Sep 43, OCT 
HB Wylie Ltrs from Gross. 

nection with the invasions of Sicily and 
Italy. The latter development was due to 
the limited port facilities, the necessity of 
holding ships for westbound convoys, and 
the theater's policy of accumulating large 
quantities of supplies in North Africa where 
they were sorted and reloaded for move- 
ment to the invasion areas — a plan which 
General Gross considered wasteful in view 
of the possibility of direct shipment from 
U.S. ports to the invasion areas. 81 During 
the first half of 1944 the number of 10-day 
vessels in the Mediterranean declined 
sharply but there were increases in the 
Pacific and European theaters in connection 
with actual or impending combat opera- 

Consideration of Chart 6 must take into 

account the fact that during the period 
under review the total number of vessels in 
Army service was almost trebled. The study 
disclosed that, in proportion to the total 
number of cargo ships in Army service, the 
number of 1 0-day ships in oversea ports was 
less at the end of the period than at the 
beginning; also that the average days spent 
in port beyond 10 days decreased from 18 
to 7. Nevertheless, the number of vessels 
held in the theaters for abnormally long 
periods was greater than could be sanc- 
tioned, in view of the over-all shortage of 
shipping. The study gave a clear emphasis 
to the fact that intensified combat activity 

81 Memo, Gross for Somervell, 18 Apr 43, sub: 
Early Date, Husky, OCT HB Wylie Shipping Re- 
quirements and Allocations 1943. The peak of the 
Mediterranean congestion was reached on 1 1 Oct 
43, when there were 394 Allied ocean-going 
vessels in African, Sicilian, and Italian ports, of 
which 73 were known to be awaiting berths and 
100 were not accounted for. See Memo, Col Stokes 
for Col Bathurst, 9 Nov 43, sub: JCS 569, OCT 
HB Ping Div Gen; see ' also Ltr, CofT ASF to 
CofT AFHQ North Africa, 25 Nov 43, ASF Hq 
Trans 1943. 



Chart 6 — U.S. Dry-Cargo Ships Employed in Transoceanic Service for the 

1943 1944 

*Based on number of ships in ports more than ten days at the time reports were made. 
Source; ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Transportation, Aug 44, p. 48. 

in a theater involves increased shipping 
schedules and is very likely to result in 
slower dispatch for cargo vessels in the ports 
of that theater. 

The delays suffered by shipping in the 
Pacific and the Mediterranean during 1942 
and 1943 foreshadowed an even more ser- 
ious situation which developed in 1944 in 
connection with the invasion of France and 
the accentuated drive against the Japanese. 
In compliance with requests from Army 
commanders of the European and Pacific 
theaters, an increasing number of ships was 
dispatched from the zone of interior, with 
the full realization that all could not be 
discharged promptly, but with no anticipa- 
tion of the excessive delays which actually 
would be experienced. By August 1944 the 

number of ships being detained in those 
areas had reached a point where it adversely 
affected the over-all movement of supplies 
from United States ports. 82 At that time 
General Wylie informed General Gross that 
all possible pressure was being placed on the 
theaters to bring about a speedier return of 
vessels. That pressure did not accomplish 
the desired results, however, and the situa- 
tion went from bad to worse until more 
drastic means were employed. Since the 
developments in the several theaters in- 
volved different circumstances, separate 
consideration is necessary. 

In approaching the subject with reference 
to northern France, it is necessary to bear 

1,2 Memo, Wylie for Gross, 12 Aug 44, sub: Tr 
Mvmt Trends, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 



in mind that the year 1944 witnessed the 
most intensive and at the same time the 
most critical invasion operation of the war. 83 
The influence of the invasion on the move- 
ment of Army cargo to the European thea- 
ter is seen in the fact that whereas during 
the six -month period, October 1943— March 
1 944, a monthly average of 85 fully loaded 
dry-cargo vessels was dispatched from U.S. 
ports, 133 were dispatched in the following 
April, and the number had increased to 1 94 
by August. 84 

During August 1944 the War Depart- 
ment became deeply concerned because of 
the European theater's continued demand 
for more sailings from the United States, 
the small number of vessels actually dis- 
charged at Continental ports, the growing 
backlog of undischarged vessels, and the 
apparent desire of theater officials to have 
a bank of 100 to 150 vessels on hand at all 
times. 85 As a corrective measure, the theater 
was informed that each of the next six con- 
voys would be reduced by ten ships. But 
early October found the situation worse 
rather than better. The theater then was 
advised, on recommendation of the Chief 
of Transportation, that sailings for October, 
November, and December would be pro- 
grammed on the basis of its demonstrated 
ability to unload the ships, with the object 
of reducing the number of cargo vessels in 

83 A more extensive account of the shipping crisis 
in ETO than can be given here is presented in 
OCT HB Monograph 29, pp. 361-88. 

84 Statistical table, Number of Cargo Ships Sail- 
ing to United Kingdom, prepared by Vessel Opns 
Analysis Br Water Div OCT, 8 Oct 45, OCT HB 
Water Div Vessel Opns Analysis. 

85 Rad, to ETOUSA, WAR 76034, 4 Aug 44; 
Rad, from ETOUSA, 42044 (CM-IN 15642, 17 
Aug 44) ; Rad, personal Gross to Somervell (then 
in ETO), WAR 81787, 16 Aug 44; Rad, to 
ETOUSA, WAR 81853, 16 Aug 44; Rad, to 
ETOUSA, WAR 89859, 31 Aug 44; Rad, from 
ETOUSA, 46204 (CM-IN 13093, 14 Sep 44). 

Continental waters to between 75 and 85. 86 
The theater expressed great alarm at this 
action, and stated that it expected to dis- 
charge 150 ships in October, 200 in Novem- 
ber, and 270 in December. 87 But the Chief 
of Transportation adhered to his plan and 
convoy program, and in a further exchange 
of messages again explained to the theater 
that the continued use of so many vessels 
for storage purposes could not be permitted 
in view of the world-wide critical shipping 
shortage. 88 Meantime, the War Depart- 
ment had proposed and the theater had 
agreed that General Franklin, Assistant 
Chief of Transportation for Water Activi- 
ties, should be detailed to the theater for 
about two months to assist in clearing up 
the shipping situation. 89 

General Franklin arrived in Europe on 
28 October. In order to facilitate the 
accomplishment of his mission he was ap- 
pointed Assistant Chief of Transportation, 
Communications Zone, European Theater 
of Operations, U.S. Army (COMZONE, 
ETOUSA), in charge of the Marine Op- 
erations Division. His early reports con- 
firmed the suspicion which had existed in 
Washington that, in addition to the insuf- 
ficiency of available port facilities for the 
prompt discharge of so many vessels, there 
was a necessity in the theater of using ships 
for storage because of the lack of adequate 

86 Memo, Gross for Somervell, 5 Oct 44, OCT 
HB Gross ETOUSA Ship Situation; Rad, to 
ETOUSA, WARX 42318, 5 Oct 44. 

87 Rad, from ETOUSA, 8 Oct 44 (CM-IN 8626, 
9 Oct 44). 

88 Rad, to ETOUSA, WARX 43793, 9 Oct 44; 
Rad, from ETOUSA, 26 Oct 44 (CM-IN 25856, 
27 Oct 44) ; Rad, to ETOUSA, WARX 53834, 28 
Oct 44. 

86 Rad, Marshall to Eisenhower, WAR 49595, 20 
Oct 44; Rad, Eisenhower to Marshall, 21 Oct 44 
(CM-IN 20423, 22 Oct 44); Ltr, CofT ASF to 
Gross Day File. 



depots and dumps. 90 Franklin reported that 
G-4, COMZONE, ETOUSA, had com- 
pletely controlled the theater supply pro- 
gram, with only nominal co-ordination with 
the theater Chief of Transportation, Maj. 
Gen. Frank S. Ross; that the G-4 requests 
for more shiploads of supplies were based 
on unrealistic estimates of the theater's ca- 
pacity to discharge; that in G— 4 the result- 
ant backlog of undischarged ships was con- 
sidered unavoidable, and even beneficial in 
that it allowed a high degree of selectivity in 
putting supplies ashore. 91 

From his discussion of the subject with 
General Eisenhower, Franklin gained the 
impression that the Supreme Commander 
had not been kept fully informed regarding 
the shipping backlog. But an exchange of 
radiograms between Generals Somervell 
and Eisenhower in early November dis- 
closed that the latter, despite the fact that 
there then were over 240 cargo vessels in the 
theater for Continental discharge, of which 
only about 60 actually were being dis- 
charged, believed that the increased use of 
Rouen and Le Havre and the prospective 
opening of Antwerp would enable the 
theater to meet its discharge estimates. 92 
The Chief of Transportation again stood 
firm in his determination to reduce the sail- 
ings from U.S. ports until the rate of dis- 
charge in the theater actually had been in- 
creased. He also requested the theater to 
return some of the 61 vessels which it had 

90 Rad, to ETOUSA, WARX 56447, 2 Nov 44. 

91 Ltr, Franklin to Gross, 5 Nov 44, OCT HB 
Gross ETO ; Memo, Franklin for GofT ASF, par. 
3c, 19 Jan 45, OCT HB Gross ETO; History of 
G-4, COMZONE, ETOUSA, Sec. I, p. 83, OCMH. 

92 Rad, Eisenhower to Somervell (CM-IN 
4960, 5 Nov 44) ; Memo, Franklin for CofT ASF, 
par. 3b, 19 Jan 45, OCT HB Gross ETO. The 
total of 243 cargo vessels in ETO for Continental 
discharge on 30 Oct 44 consisted mostly of vessels 
loaded in U.S. but included some loaded in UK. 

retained for use in moving motor vehicles 
and stores from the United Kingdom to 
the Continent. 83 

It was evident up to this point that little 
progress had been made in harmonizing the 
War Department and the theater points of 
view. Recognizing this, and recognizing also 
the seriousness of the shipping situation, 
particularly as it related to his ammunition 
supply, General Eisenhower arranged late 
in November for three of his high-ranking 
officers, together with General Franklin, to 
proceed to Washington for a full discussion 
of the matter. 94 

After the return of these officers to the 
theater on 5 December, concrete steps were 
taken to regulate the shipping situation. 95 
A Shipping Control Committee was set up, 
consisting of Maj. Gen. Royal B. Lord, 
Chief of Staff, COMZONE, Brig. Gen. 
James H. Stratton, Assistant Chief of Staff, 
G-4, COMZONE, and General Franklin, 
to study port conditions and bring the 
theater's requests for supplies within the 
quantities that could be landed. Procedures 
were established in the office of the theater 
chief of transportation whereby scheduled 
discharge and actual performance were 
compared daily, and estimates of future op- 
erations and shipping schedules were 

93 Rad, to ETOUSA, WARX 58388, 6 Nov 44; 
Memo, C of Ship Contl Br Contl Div OCT for 
Col Meyer, 21 Nov 44, OCT HB Water Div Vessel 
Opns Analysis; Rad to ETOUSA, WARX 66841, 
22 Nov 44. Authorized retentions in ETO already 
had been reduced from 152 on D Day. See statisti- 
cal table, Vessels Retained in Theaters, OCT HB 
Water Div Vessel Opns Analysis. 

94 Memo, CofT for ACofS OPD WDGS, 11 Nov 
44, sub: Cargo Shipping for ETO, OCT HB Wylie 
Staybacks; Ltr, CofS USA for Mr. James F. Byrnes, 
Dir Office of War Mobilization, 22 Nov 44; Memo, 
ACofS OPD for CG ASF, etc., 25 Nov 44. Last two 
in OCT HB Gross ETO. 

95 Ltrs, Franklin to Gross, 11 Dec 44 and 31 
Dec 44; Memo, Franklin for CofT ASF, par. 5, 
19 Jan 45. All in OCT HB Gross ETO. 



reviewed and revised when necessary. A 
Diversion Committee was established to ar- 
range the allocation of vessels to discharge 
ports and assure their prompt assignment 
to berths. 

The opening of Antwerp to Allied traffic 
on 28 November brought general relief to 
the shipping situation in northern Europe. 
The difficulty of making full use of this 
large port, because of the limited capacity 
of forward dumps to receive supplies, was 
partially overcome by storing the cargoes 
in the port area. This procedure, which was 
applied also at Le Havre, naturally resulted 
in a rapid accumulation of materiel in 
covered and open storage at the ports and 
therefore interfered with operations in gen- 
eral. Because of this situation, General 
Gross, who visited the theater briefly in 
December, arranged to detail Col. Leo J. 
Coughlin, chief of his Transit Storage Divi- 
sion, to ETOUSA to aid the theater chief 
of transportation in working out a plan to 
improve port fluidity. 96 

General Franklin returned to the United 
States on 13 January 1945 and reported 
that the primary purpose of his mission, 
which was to bring the theater shipping 
program and its capacity to receive cargo 
into balance, had been accomplished. 97 He 
believed that the procedures established and 
the control responsibility assigned to the 
theater Chief of Transportation would 
assure the maintenance of that balance. 
Franklin remarked, however, that the estab- 
lishment of intermediate depots with suffi- 
cient capacity to accommodate supplies 
which the forward dumps could not receive 
■ — a development considered necessary as a 

9(5 See Rpt, Col Coughlin to Maj Gen Frank S. 
Ross, CofT COMZONE ETOUSA, 19 Feb 45, 
OCT HB ETO France Ports. 

97 Memo for CofT ASF, par. 6, 19 Jan 45, 
OCT HB Gross ETO. 

means of relieving the ports of congestion — 
remained to be accomplished, although ac- 
tion in that direction had been initiated. 
In mid-February Lt. Gen. John C. H. 
Lee, Commanding General, COMZONE, 
ETOUSA, stated that the discharge rate 
and the movement forward from the ports 
were at last showing signs of consistent im- 
provement. 98 

The status of the cargo ships which had 
been loaded in the United States for dis- 
charge in northern Continental ports, from 
1 Septem ber 194 4 to 31 March 1945, is 
shown in Chart 7 , The large accumulation 
of idle vessels in Europe during October and 
November and the effect of that backlog on 
the number of vessels permitted to sail to 
Europe are clearly evident. As soon as the 
number of vessels awaiting call to discharge 
ports and waiting at the ports to begin dis- 
charge was substantially reduced, the num- 
ber en route from the United States in- 

Appraisal of the theater's responsibility 
for this shipping crisis must take into ac- 
count a number of facts. The military op- 
eration, as General Eisenhower pointed out, 
was of unprecedented scope and character, 
and the logistical problems involved were 
not solvable merely by the application of 
existing rules." After the break-through at 
St. L6, the campaign progressed with un- 
foreseen rapidity, and it was not unnatural 
that theater personnel responsible for the 
supply of the forces should have concerned 
themselves first with the avoidance of mate- 
riel shortages, rather than with the world- 
wide shipping situation. In COMZONE, 
action was dominated by supply considera- 
tions, and, acting without due advice from 

98 Ltr, Lee to Somervell, 1 7 Feb 45, OCT HB 
Gross ETO. 

M Rad to Somervell, 5 Nov 44, CM-IN 4960. 



Chart 7 — Status of Dry-Cargo Vessels Loaded by the U.S. Army at U.S. Ports 
for Discharge in Northern Continental Europe: 
1 September 1944-31 March 1945. 


1944 1943 

'Separate data not available tor September 1944. 

Source; Data compiled by Vessel Opus Analysis Branch, Water Div, OCT; published in ASF MPR, Sec. 3, issued during 
the period, or on file in Statistics and Progress Branch, Management Div, OCT. 

the theater Chief of Transportation, G— 4 
failed to allow for contingencies and took 
too optimistic a view of the capacity of the 
ports to discharge and forward cargo. 100 A 
number of French ports which had been 
included in the early planning were not 
captured or were not usable when captured, 
and other French and Belgian ports did not 
become available until much later than had 
been anticipated. The large number of 
trucks required for the support of the 
Armies in their drive across France reduced 
the number of vehicles available for mov- 

100 See Rpt, ACofS G-4 COMZONE ETOUSA, 
Shipping Situation and Supply Requirements, 1 
Dec 44, p. 2, OCT HB ETO France Ports. 

ing cargoes out of the ports. 101 The swift 
military developments and the possibility of 
an early termination of hostilities for a time 
left room for doubt as to the need for an 
extensive intermediate depot system to func- 
tion between the ports and the forward 
dumps. 1 "- A large proportion of the vessels 
dispatched from U.S. ports were so-called 
commodity-loaders, each containing sup- 
plies of the same type or related types and 

1111 Ltr, Gen Ross to Dr. H. Larson, Trans Sec 
OCMH, 26 Apr 50, OCT HB ETO France Ports. 

11,2 See Rpt, Gen Bd ETO, sub: Supply and 
Maintenance on the European Continent (Study 
130), pp. 65, 116, OCT HB ETO Gen Bd Rpts; 
Rpt, Maj Gen LeR. Lutes to Gen Somervell, 24 
Jan 45, sub: Mission to ETO, 4 Dec 44-13 Jan 
45, pp. 3, 248, AG Hist Rec Sec. 



loaded well in advance of the actual need 
for the supplies; therefore a strict observ- 
ance of priorities was not possible and much 
materiel not currently needed arrived in 
European waters. 103 

In the Mediterranean the accumulation 
of shipping, which had developed in con- 
nection with the invasion of Sicily and Italy 
and then had subsided, again appeared as 
the time approached for the invasion of 
southern France in August 1944. While 
many ports were used in mounting this in- 
vasion the chief burden fell on Naples, 
which also was the principal port of entry 
for supplies used in the campaign up the 
Italian boot. 101 As in the case of northern 
France, pressure was exerted by the Chief 
of Transportation to speed up the discharge 
of vessels and to hasten the return of ships 
which had been temporarily assigned for 
intratheater operation. In this instance 
better results were obtained. 103 The opening 
of the port of Marseille to /Ulied vessels 
early in September was followed by a close 
regulation of traffic within the Mediter- 
ranean, and a judicious restraint was exer- 
cised in calling for more supplies from the 
zone of interior. In late July, just prior to 
the assault, there were 138 cargo vessels in 
the Mediterranean theater earmarked for 
use in the invasion. 100 On 30 October there 

^ See Rad, Somervell to Eisenhower, WARX 
56447, p. 3, 2 Nov 44. 

104 Memo, Gen Lutes ACofS ASF for CofT, 25 
Jul 44; Memo, ACofT for Gen Lutes, 12 Aug 44. 
Both in OCT HB Wylie Staybacks. 

103 Rad, CG AFHQ Caserta to WD, 16 Jul 44 
(CM-IN 13484, 17 Jul 44), OCT HB Wylie 
Shipping for Med Opns 1944: Ltr, CofT ASF to 
Brig Gen George C. Stewart CofT MTOUSA, 
9 Sep 44, OCT HB Gross Med Theater; Rad to CG 
MTOUSA, 23 Nov 44, OCT HB Wylie Staybacks; 
Ltr, CofT ASF to Gen Stewart Trans Off SOLOC 
ETO, 5 Dec 44, OCT HB Gross ETO. 

100 Summary of Med Cargo Activity, based on 
CM-IN 16875, 20 Jul 44, OCT HB Wylie Shipping 
for Med Opns 1944. 

were 62 U.S. -loaded cargo vessels discharg- 
ing or awaiting discharge in southern France, 
25 vessels were en route from the United 
States, and an undetermined number of the 
62 retentions which were charged to the 
Mediterranean theater were being used to 
move intratheater cargo to southern 
France. 107 By late November the danger of 
serious ship congestion in the south of 
France had passed and it was found expedi- 
ent to divert to Marseille a limited number 
of vessels originally planned for discharge at 
northern French ports. 1 " 8 

The fact that shipping was handled more 
successfully in southern France than in the 
north was due in part to the promptness 
with which Marseille and other southern 
ports were brought under U.S. control, 
but an additional factor was the position of 
authority awarded to Brig. Gen. George 
C. Stewart, first as Chief of Transportation, 
Services of Supply, Mediterranean Theater 
of Operations (SOS, MTOUSA), and later 
as Transportation Officer, Southern Lines 
of Communication (SOLOC), ETOUSA, 
and the consequent closer co-ordination be- 
tween supply requisitions and port discharge 
and clearance capabilities. lt)!) 

The port congestion in the Southwest 
Pacific Area, which had disturbed the Chief 
of Transportation from 1942, took on a 
much more serious aspect in the fall of 
1944 in connection with the invasion of 
Leyte. Its significance from the standpoint of 
the general shipping shortage was heightened 

107 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Dec 44, pp. 56, 60. 

108 Rad to CG ETOUSA, 24 Nov 44, OCT HB 
Wylie Staybacks ; Memo, Wylie for Somervell, 1 
Jan 45, sub: ETO Shipping Situation, OCT HB 
Wylie Staybacks; Ltr, Lt Gen J. C. G. Lee, CG 
COMZONE ETOUSA, to Gen Somervell, 17 Feb 
45, OCT HB Gross ETO. 

100 See Ltr, Stewart to Gross, 23 Aug 44, OCT 
HB Gross ETO. SOLOC was established in ETO 
in Nov 44. OCT HB Monograph 29, p. 301. 



by the concurrent immobilization of a great 
number of cargo vessels in European 
waters. In SWPA the problem involved not 
only the shipping engaged in transpacific 
service but also the large number of ships 
temporarily retained in the theater or per- 
manently assigned to it. Between early Sep- 
tember 1944 and mid-November the num- 
ber of transpacific vessels en route to or 
arrived in SWPA increased from 110 to 
197, and the number of ocean-going vessels 
employed within the theater increased from 
235 to 279. 110 During this period the num- 
ber of vessels of both categories which were 
idle waiting to discharge or load mounted 

Beginning early in November the Chief 
of Transportation adopted aggressive meas- 
ures in his effort to improve the situation 
in the Southwest Pacific. 111 Although the 
theater promised improved discharge, Gen- 
eral Gross and his staff foresaw that this 
measure alone would not solve the problem 
and that a reduction of sailings from the 
United States and a curtailment of theater 
retentions were necessary. On 4 November, 
according to Washington records, 180 ves- 
sels were committed to the Leyte operation, 
including those already at Leyte, those in 
the theater loaded or scheduled to load for 
Leyte, and those en route from U.S. ports. 112 
It was obvious to the Washington author- 
ities, in view of the limited facilities at Leyte 
and interruptions caused by suicide planes 
and other enemy activities, that the dis- 
charge of so many ships could not be ac- 

110 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Dec 44, p. 63. 

ln Rad to SWPA, WARX 58097, 5 Nov 44; 
Rad from SWPA, 9 Nov 44, CM-IN 8563; Rad to 
SWPA, WARX 61 746, 1 1 Nov 44. 

112 Rad to SWPA, WARX 64641, 17 Nov 44. 
The theater reported 141 ships committed to Leyte 
as of 15 Nov 44, according to its records. 

complished without long delays. The theater 
was urged, therefore, to "tailor" its ship- 
ping program to a "realistic discharge capa- 

On 22 November 1944 the War Depart- 
ment informed General MacArthur that the 
world-wide shipping situation had been pre- 
sented to the President, who had instructed 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff to take immediate 
steps to reduce the number of idle cargo 
vessels overseas. 113 He was urged at that 
time to limit the number of retentions in the 
Southwest Pacific to 170, despite the fact 
that a larger number had been authorized. 
On 8 December SWPA was instructed to 
reduce its retentions to 100 by 15 January 
1945 and also was informed that the num- 
ber of sailings from the United States 
would be reduced. 114 

The theater vigorously protested these ac- 
tions. It stated that the shipping backlog 
was the result of adverse weather, enemy 
interference, and a major change in opera- 
tional plans which had advanced the cam- 
paign by two months. General MacArthur, 
in a personal message to General Somervell, 
recommended that the contemplated cur- 
tailment of shipping be postponed for two 
months until success was assured for the 
campaign, which was then approaching the 
critical phase. 115 He had in mind, of course, 
the invasion of Luzon, which began 9 Janu- 
ary 1945. The War Department insisted, 
however, that its program made generous 
provision for all contingencies and pointed 
out that supplies could be delivered to the 
theater at a faster rate when the shipping 

us Rad, WAR 67064. 

114 Rad, WAR 74552. 

115 Rad from SWPA, 23 Nov 44 (CM-IN 
23048, 24 Nov 44) ; Rad, MacArthur to Somervell, 
11 Dec 44 (CM-IN 12436, 13 Dec 44). 



congestion had been reduced and vessel 
turnaround improved. 110 

The measures by the War Department, 
together with actions taken concurrently by 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brought results. A 
detailed study of the shipping situation in 
the Philippine area, made by theater offi- 
cials in January 1945 at the request of the 
Chief of Transportation, indicated that the 
theater, although still somewhat too op- 
timistic in its estimate of discharge cap- 
ability, was nevertheless approaching the 
subject with a new point of view and under- 
stood the War Department's position. 117 

The number of ocean-going vessels en- 
gaged in moving cargo to and within the 
Southwest Pacific Area prior to the German 
surrender reached a peak of approximately 
500 on 20 January 1945, of which about 
200 were in transpacific service and about 
300 employed within the theater. 118 During 
February the number of vessels in service 
within the theater leveled off to about 200, 
near which figure it remained until V-J 
Day. 113 The number of transpacific vessels 
en route to or arrived in SWPA also de- 
clined, and on V-E Day it stood at 1 18. 
After V-E Day the number of transpacific 
vessels mounted rapidly and reached a peak 
of about 450 in mid- August 1945. The last 
figure included about 300 vessels which 
were in service between the United States 
and the theater and about 150 which were 
being redeployed from Europe. The situa- 
tion arising from this new influx of shipping 
will be discussed later. 

110 Rad, Somervell to MacArthur, WARX 76544, 
13 Dec 44. 

117 Memo, Wylie for Gross, 22 Jan 45, sub: 
Southwest Pacific Situation, OCT HB Wylie Ship- 
ping in Pacific 1944-45. 

118 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Feb 45, p. 50. 

110 ASF MPR, Sec. 3, Mar 45, p. 46; Aug 45, p. 

The circumstances cited by the theater 
in explanation of the congestion which 
existed in the Southwest Pacific during late 
1944 and early 1945 — particularly the 
changes in strategic plans and their disturb- 
ing effect on the program for "rolling up" 
supplies, equipment, and troops from rear 
bases to forward areas — unquestionably 
had much to do with the development 
of the unhealthy shipping situation. The 
necessity of utilizing primitive ports, such as 
Hollandia and Finschhafen, in support of 
large combat operations, and the lack of 
adequate floating equipment, warehouses, 
dumps, trucks, and labor at such ports, con- 
stituted serious handicaps, 120 The inability 
to enforce a program of priorities because 
of uncertainty as to when and where spe- 
cific supplies would be needed and the lack 
of adequate facilities for unloading, storing, 
and sorting such supplies resulted in a prac- 
tice of "selective discharge" which kept 
many vessels out of active service. This 
practice involved unloading only the items 
which were needed immediately and leav- 
ing the balance of the cargoes in the ships 
for futur